NC-Congress alliance sweeps LAHDC-Kargil poll; BJP secures two seats

By Stanzin Dasal Kargil, Oct 09, 2023
During the counting of votes of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council-Kargil (LAHDC-K) election.
Kargil :

In the aftermath of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council-Kargil (LAHDC-K) election, the National Conference-Congress alliance has achieved a resounding victory, dealing a significant blow to the BJP.

The poll result was announced on October 8.

The National Conference secured a commanding 12 seats, while the Congress claimed 10 out of the 26-member council. In a surprising twist, the BJP managed to secure only 2 seats, including one where the NC and Congress fielded candidates against each other. Additionally, 2 Independent candidates managed to clinch seats.  The Aam Aadmi Party failed to make any inroads.

The election, which took place on October 4, saw a significant turnout, with 77.61% of the 74,026 registered voters using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to cast their ballots.

Despite the BJP's extensive campaign highlighting development initiatives in the region since 2019, their efforts proved less effective in this election. Notably, the image and popularity of MP Ladakh, particularly among the people of Zanskar, failed to sway the results significantly. The unmet demand for district status appeared to be one of the factors contributing to the BJP's inability to secure all seats in Zanskar.

The election unfolded against a backdrop of public dissatisfaction with the failure to protect  land, culture, jobs, and the environment. The ruling party's reluctance to support the demand for the inclusion of Ladakh in the 6th schedule of the Indian Constitution added to the confusion and dissatisfaction among the public.

Despite winning just 2 seats in Stakchay-Khangral and Cha constituency, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal claimed in a tweet that the BJP had witnessed an overall growth in the 5th LAHDC Kargil Election. He highlighted a significant surge in the party's vote count compared to 2018, suggesting clear progress for the BJP.

“Remarkable growth in the 5th LAHDC Kargil election is evident! Our vote count skyrocketed from 2588 in 2018 to an impressive 10, 844, earning us two seats double our 2018 success. While we narrowly missed a few seats, our undeniable progress speaks volumes” he tweeted.

This Hill Council election in Kargil is significant, as it marks the first election of its kind since Ladakh was declared a Union Territory (UT) in August 2019.

While the NC-Congress alliance effectively kept the BJP from dominating, questions remain about the effectiveness of the coalition council. How well it will address the region's pressing needs and concerns is a matter of keen interest.