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Ladakh poll: 15 seats for BJP, Cong. wins 9

A voter shows her finger marked with indelible ink after casting her vote for the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Elections, in Leh, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The BJP on Monday won the majority of seats in the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh (LAHDC-Leh) polls, by capturing 15 of the 26 constituencies, followed by the Congress with nine.

The BJP managed to win most of the far-off seats outside the Leh town, including six of the seven seats of the remote Nubra valley. Two Muslim faces, Ghulam Mehdi from Turtuk and Mirza Hussain from Chuchot, were among its winners.

In Khaltsi, the party’s Lobzang Sherab defeated Jigmet Rabgais of the Congress with a thin margin of nine votes. However, in Chuchot, its Hussain defeated an independent candidate Sayeeda Bano by a margin of 735 votes.

Tsering Namgyal of the Congress defeated BJP’s P.Wangdan with the highest margin of 1,116 votes in Lower Leh.

The constituencies won by the BJP included Turtuk, Panamik, Tegar, Hunder, Diskit, Tangtse, Kungyam, Sku Markha, Thiksey, Korzok, Lingshed, Lamayuru, Martseylang, Khaltse and Chuchot.

The seats won by the Congress were Lower Leh, Upper Leh, Igoo, Saspol, Basgo, Sakti, Phyang, Skurbuchan and Temisgam. Chushul and Nyoma were two seats won by the independent candidates.

“First major victory for BJP in UT Ladakh. The BJP won 15 of the 26 seats in the Leh Autonomous District Council elections. Congrats team BJP, Ladakh UT,” tweeted party leader Ram Madhav.

Compared to the 2015 results, the BJP has come down by two seats from 17 to 15 this year.

Four Union Ministers — Mukthar Abbas Naqvi, Kiren Rijju, Anurag Thakur and G. Kishan Reddy — besides senior leaders campaigned for the BJP candidates in Leh, with a population of 1.33 lakh.

The campaign for the polls was dominated by the demand for the Sixth Schedule status to protect local demography, jobs and land and legislative powers to the LAHDC-Leh. The BJP has backed the demand to grant a fresh special status to the region.

It was the first-ever polls conducted for the council since Ladakh was carved out as a Union Territory (UT) last year. The polls, in which electronic voting machines (EVMs) were employed for the first time, were held in the backdrop of the India-China border face-off and the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was also for the first time that neither the National Conference (NC) nor the Peoples Democraric Party (PDP) had participated in the elections. The new entrant Aam Aadmi Party failed to bag any seat in the region.

Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, MP and BJP president in Ladakh, said in a tweet, “The BJP will form LAHDC-Leh once again.”

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 6:50:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/lahdc-leh-poll-bjp-wins-6-seats-as-counting-is-underway-for-19-seats/article32942412.ece

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