LS Polls: 8000 first timers hold key in Ladakh

Around eight thousand first time voters may hold the key for strategically important and remotest Ladakh seat where winning margin was just 36 votes in 2014 general election.

The Ladakh Lok Sabha election slated to go for polls on May 6 will witness four cornered battle among Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress, and two independents. The constituency spread over two administrative districts Leh and Kargil and four assembly segments namely Leh, Kargil Zanskar and Nubra has total electoral strength of 174,618 voters.

Out of them, 86752 are males, 85064 females, 2799  service voters and 3 transgenders. In 2014 general elections total electoral strength was 166755, where BJP candidate managed to win with a thin margin of 36 voters, when 70.78 percent people cast votes.

The constituency shares borders with Pakistan and China and is geographically one of the largest and population-wise one of the smallest in the country.

Being one of the remotest areas of the country, the Ladakh division has its own issues, dissimilar to the Kashmir Valley and the Jammu division.

For over four months, from the middle of December to the end of April, each year, Ladakh remains cut off from the rest of the state as snow in the Zojilla Pass area snaps it’s only surface link.

The choice of around 7934 voters, who will vote for first time, is likely to be a deciding factor in the polls, scheduled between 7.00 am and 6.00 pm.

Authorities have set-up 559 polling stations across the frontier region for the smooth conduct of the electoral exercise

Two polling stations in Leh (Gaik) and Nubra (Washi) segments have seven voters each while as polling station with the highest number of voters (1301) has been set up at Leh (Shynam). The highest polling station, Anlay Pho (Changthang), has been set up in Leh district at an altitude of 15,000 feet. The booth is barely 50 meters from the Line of Actual Control (LAC).