NC-Congress alliance secures victory, wins 21 out of 25 seats in key Ladakh poll

[Photo X/OmarAbdullah]

‘We want our statehood back; we didn’t gain anything as a UT, and our youth are unemployed’

Kargil: In the recent Ladakh Autonomous Hill Council elections in Kargil, the National Conference-Congress alliance secured a resounding victory, marking a significant defeat for the BJP. These elections were the first to be held after the revocation of Article 370 in 2019, which led to the division of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh into two Union Territories.

The counting of votes for the 26-seat hill council began this morning, and the alliance emerged triumphant by securing 21 seats.

The counting of votes in the 26-seat hill council began this morning. The alliance has bagged 21 seats. The BJP has managed to win two seats so far.

“@jknc ends the day as the single largest party in the LAHDC Kargil polls with 12 councillors. Together with the Congress with whom we shared seats, we will have 21 or 22 councillors (1 seat is still being counted) out of 26. This is a resounding verdict against the BJP & its divisive policies. It’s also an emphatic rejection of what the Union Government did to J&K on 5th August 2019.

The Opposition viewed these elections as a referendum on the Central government’s decision to abrogate Article 370. During the polling process, many voters expressed concerns about their identity following the abrogation and the lack of democratic representation under the Union Territory administration.

Several voters voiced their desire to reunite with Jammu and Kashmir, highlighting their dissatisfaction with the Union Territory status, which they felt had failed to deliver results.

A local from Kargil told NDTV, “We want our statehood back; we didn’t gain anything as a Union Territory, and our youth are unemployed.”

At a campaign rally, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah urged voters to send a clear message regarding their stance on the NDA government’s decision of August 5, 2019.

It’s worth noting that earlier, the Ladakh administration had denied the “plough” symbol to National Conference candidates, leading to a legal battle. Ultimately, the Supreme Court intervened, and the polls, which were initially scheduled for September 10, were allowed to proceed.

Over the past three years, political parties, as well as social and religious groups in Ladakh, have formed an alliance opposing the Union Territory status and demanding full statehood and constitutional protection under the sixth schedule.

This unusual political alliance between Buddhist and Muslim groups in the Leh and Kargil districts has presented a significant electoral challenge to the BJP in Ladakh.

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