As the National Conference (NC) has emerged single largest party in Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Kargil elections, winning ten seats out of 26, the party says Kargil result will replicate throughout the State.
“People of Kargil have rejected communal and hate based politics of the BJP and has reposed faith on the secular polity of NC. You will see people voting for in NC coming Panchyati and Assembly elections. The winds of change have begin,” Tanvir Sadiq, political advisor to the NC’s vice-president Omar Abdullah told Outlook. He alleged that the BJP brought several central leaders to Kargil and tried to communalise the elections. “But people of Kargil defeated their designs,” Sadiq says.
It is likely that the NC could form an alliance with the Congress to control the LAHDC as the Congress party is at second place with eight seats, while PDP and BJP have won two and one seats respectively.
Sadiq says the NC would take opinion of the elected members before taking any decision about entering into any sort of alliance. “The party leadership will take the decision only after having discussions with the elected members,” Sadiq says.
The counting of manually cast votes for Muslim dominated LAHDC elections started on Friday and concluded on Saturday. On August 27, the day of polling, 75 percent polling was witnessed . In the 30 member LAHDC council, established in 2003, four seats are nominated by the state government, including two from the minority community and two women. The five year term of LAHDC Kargil is scheduled to end on September 15.
Congress leader Asgar Ali Karbalaie says he is not satisfied with the results. He says his party lost six seats by the margin of 16 to 20 votes. However, he said, the party will decide about forging of an alliance only after the elected councillors will return from their constituencies.
He says the BJP has got one seat in the LAHDC by mere chance as it won the seat with the margin of 29 votes. “The BJP used everything in the elections. They used muscle power, money power, they brought State and national leaders to Kargil and some of their leaders camped in the region for a month. They used choppers for the campaign,” he says. The BJP should accept the defeat instead of celebrating one seat win, added Karblaie.
But the BJP rejected criticism from both the NC and the Congress, saying they are happy that they have opened an account in LAHDC Kargil for the first time. “I think it is heartening that we have been able to get foothold in the LAHDC Kargil,” says BJP state spokesperson Arun Gupta. He says the party has campaigned like other political parties during the elections and the NC and Congress have no business to say “how we campaign in the elections.”