The alliance of Congress and the National Conference defeated the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Council elections in Kargil. This was the first-ever elections held in Jammu and Kashmir since the scrapping of Article 370 in 2019.
Congress and the National Conference left the BJP far behind as the counting for the 26-seat Ladakh Council went on. Congress won eight seats, while the National Conference won 11 out of the 22 seats, results for which were declared.
Meanwhile, the BJP managed to win on two seats and one seat went to an Independent candidate.
Mehbooba Mufti, the chief of the People’s Democratic Party said that its heartening to see secular parties in NC and the Congress winning in Kargil. PDP did not contest the elections.
As early trends showed a big win for the alliance, Mufti posted writing, “Heartening to see secular parties like NC and Congress register their victory in Kargil. It's the first election post-2019 and people of Ladakh have spoken.”
Meanwhile, Congress leader and MP from Assam, Gaurav Gogoi wrote on X, “Tremendous victory in the Ladakh-Kargil Autonomous Hill Council elections after 10 years. My sincere gratitude to the people of Ladakh-Kargil for their belief and support in the Congress and INDIA ally National Conference.”
It may be noted that the voter turnout in the Kargil district was recorded at 65 per cent according to the cumulative figure of the third round of voting for the fifth LAHDC elections.
The Ladakh administration had last month announced a new schedule for elections to the fifth LAHDC in the Kargil region after a directive by the Supreme Court of India.
The notification arrived following the Supreme Court, while restoring the party symbol of the National Conference ahead of the elections, also set aside the Union Territory administration’s previous election notification since National Conference candidates had not been able to file nominations.
According to the notification, the elections to the 26 seats of the 30-member LAHDC were held on October 4.
The existing council is headed by the NC’s Feroz Ahmed Khan. The Congress formed an alliance with the NC ahead of the elections and fielded 22 candidates. NC fielded 17. Both parties said that the arrangement was restricted to areas where there was a tough contest with the BJP.
BJP had fielded 17 candidates this time after winning one seat in the last election and later took its tally to three with the joining of two PDP councilors. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) tried its luch on four seats as 25 Independent candidates also joined the fray.