LAHDC-Leh elections: 164 candidates in fray

As many as 164 candidates filed nominations for the elections of 26 council constituencies of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC)-Leh.

Official sources told Greater Kashmir that 164 candidates have joined the fray for the LAHDC- Leh elections which is the first election after Ladakh became Union Territory also the first election in the country after Covid 19 pandemic.

Official sources said that after a five days extension of the time for filing nominations in the rescheduled election notification, the nominations were completed on Saturday.

Elections have been rescheduled after the talks between the Union Home Minister Amit Shah and a three member delegation of the newly formed Apex Body for people’s movement for Sixth Schedule safeguards to Ladakh, which had earlier called for a poll boycott.

“On the last day of filing nomination papers, the number of candidates taking part in the hill development council election are 164 who belong to parties- BJP, Congress and AAP besides 44 other independent candidates” Deputy District Election Officer Leh, Abdul Gaffar Zargar told Greater Kashmir.

He said that 43 candidates from each BJP and Congress have filed nomination papers to contest in the hill development council election, adding that the Delhi based AAP has fielded it 27 candidates while as 44 independent candidates will also be in fray for the election.

He said the election office didn’t receive any nomination papers from regional parties including National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party.

Pertinent to mention that the forthcoming elections are crucial as it is being held amidst rising concerns for the need of constitutional safeguards to Ladakh Union Territory for its unique Tribal culture and tradition. The boycott of elections by the Apex body was withdrawn following the assurances of consultation on the demand from the Union Home Minister following the completion of the election. The polling for 26 Council Constituencies of the 30 member Leh Hill council is scheduled for 22nd October.

Meanwhile the administration has made postal ballot arrangements also for the elderly people, COVID-19 patients and differently abled persons.

Officials said that in view of COVID pandemic the authorities have made postal ballot arrangements for those who are above the age of 65 years, COVID patients and differently abled persons. Besides, the service personnel will also cast their vote through postal ballot, he added.

He said about 3500 postal ballots have been arranged and out of them 350 are service personnel.