The Bharatiya Janata Party registered a major win in the 6th LAHDC Leh general council elections on Monday by wresting 15 out of 26 seats. The Indian National Congress (INC) won 9 seats and two seats went to independent candidates. The new entrant Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) failed to open its account.
After winning the majority of seats, the saffron party is set to regain control over Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council-Leh for a second term. In 2010 LAHDC-Leh elections, the BJP had won 18 seats. The Indian National Congress this time improved its tally by four seats. In the previous polls it had got five seats only.
Talking to the Greater Kashmir, election officer Leh, A G Zargar said that the BJP won 15 of the 26 constituencies; the Congress 9, and two independent candidates wrested two seats. A total of 94 candidates including 26 each from BJP and Congress, 19 from AAP and 23 independents were in the fray for 26 council constituencies.
The BJP made all efforts to retain its hold on LAHDC Leh even as tension along the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh and increasing local protests concerning jobs, demography, and identity were raised by Congress and independent candidates to put the party on the back foot.
The party had sent senior leaders and ministers to Leh for campaigning.
Reacting to poll results, senior BJP leader Ram Madhav tweeted: “First major victory for BJP in UT Ladakh. BJP won 15 out of 26 seats in the Leh Autonomous District Council elections. Congrats team BJP, Ladakh UT”.
BJP Member Parliament Ladakh Jamiang Tsering Namgyal said that this was the victory of people of Ladakh. “I think people have started realizing that the BJP is for the development and today’s elections results are an indication of what the people think about the BJP,” Namgyal told media persons in Leh. Pertinently, the voting had been held in two phases and the counting was done on Thursday. Leh recorded 65.07 per cent turnout.
An electorate of 89,776, including 45025 women, had exercised their franchise in 294 polling stations spread over 26 constituencies across Leh district. Regional parties including National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chose to stay away from the election.
LAHDC-Leh has a total of 30 seats and four councillors are nominated by the government.
Since the formation of the hill council in 1995, the Congress had swept the polls thrice, while the Ladakh Union Territorial Front won the elections in 2005.
The BJP wrested control of the council from the Congress first time during last elections by winning 18 seats.
Kargil district of Ladakh has a separate hill council which was elected in 2018 for a five-year term.
According to the official figures, Ghulam Mehdi of BJP won by 367 votes from Turtuk. Kunzang Lotus of BJP won by 420 votes from Hundar. Sering Angchuk of BJP won by 570 votes from Diskit. Rigzen Lundup of
BJP won by 416 votes from Tegar. Tsering Sandup of BJP won by 376 votes from Panamik. Tashi Namgyal of BJP won by 180 votes from Tangtse.
Konchok Stanzin (IND) won by 309 votes from Chushul. Ishey Spalzang (IND) won by 16 votes from Nyoma. Thinles Nurboo of BJP won by 133 votes from Kungyam. Karma Namdak of BJP won by 566 votes from Korzok. Rigzin Tsering of INC won by 20 votes from Sakti. Sonam Thardos of INC won by 79 votes from Igoo.
Stanzin Chosphel of BJP won by 684 votes from Martselang. Stanzin Chosfail of BJP won by 344 votes from Thiksay. Mirza Hussain of BJP won by 735 votes from Chuchot.
Phuntsog Stanzin Tsepag of INC won by 36 votes from Upper Leh. Tsering Namgyal of INC won by 1116 votes from Lower Leh. Tundup Nurbu of INC won by 57 votes from Phyang.
Sonam Nurboo of BJP won by 67 votes from Sku Markha. Tsering Norboo of INC won by 223 votes from Basgo. Smanla Dorje Nurboo of INC won by 481 votes from Saspol. Sonam Dorjey of INC won by 245 votes from Temisgam. Lobzang Sherab of BJP won by 9 votes from Khaltsi. Lundup Dorjai of INC won by 122 votes from Skurbuchan. Morup Dorjey of BJP won by 237 votes from Lamayuru and Tashi Gyalson of BJP won by 311 votes from Lingshet constituency.