BJP wins 15 seats in LAHDC Leh, Cong increases tally to 9

A candidate gets victory certificate in Leh on Monday.
A candidate gets victory certificate in Leh on Monday.

Despite promising smart cities, party loses both seats of Leh

Avtar Bhat
LEH, Oct 26: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 15 seats out of 26 in 6th Ladakh Autonomous Hill Develop-ment Council (LAHDC) Leh elections, the results of which were declared here, today while the Congress won nine seats and two were bagged by Independents. However the performance is remarkably not considered up to the mark for the BJP as four Union Ministers and a national general secretary of the party campaigned in Leh. Moreover, the BJP Govern-ment at Delhi fulfilled the long cherished demand of granting UT status to Ladakh region and also launched many development projects in the Himalayan region during its rule.
In comparison to that, Congress increased its tally to nine winning more than double seats this time than four which the party had in 2015. As no national leader or star campaigner of the party visited Leh for electioneering the party depending on its local leadership improved its tally much better while BJP got two seats less this time as party had won 17 seats last time.

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Both BJP and Congress had contested all the 26 seats while the 23 Independents and 19 candidates of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were trying their luck in these elections. The AAP, which entered the poll fray of the LAHDC elections, Leh for the first time failed to open the account.
BJP candidates who won 6th LAHDC, Leh election are Ghulam Mehdi from Turtuk, Kunzang Lotus from Hundar – Tsering Sandup from Panamik, Tsering Angchok from Diskit, Rigzin Lundup from Tegar, Tashi Namgyal Yakzee from Tangtse, Karma Namdak from Korzok, Thinless Nurboo from Kyungyam, Stanzin Chospel from Martselang, Stanzin Chosfail from Thiksey, Sonam Nurbu from Skyu-Markha, Mirza Hussain from Chuchot, Morup Dorja from Lamayuru, Tashi Gyaltson from Lingshed and Lobzang Sherab from Khaltsi constituencies.
Similarly, Indian National Congress (INC) candidates who won the election are Sonam Thardos from Igoo, Rigzin Tsering from Sakti, Tsering Nurboo from Basgo, Smanla Dorjay Norbu from Saspol, Tsering Namgyal from Lower Leh , Tundup Nurbu from Phyang, Phunsog Stanzin Tsepag from Upper Leh, Lundup Dorjey from Skurbuchan and Sonam Dorjay from Temisgam constituencies.
Independent candidate Konchok Stanzin won from Chuchul while as Ishey Spalzang Independent won from Nyoma constituencies.
The BJP this time had a loss of two seats while Congress has a gain of five seats than the previous elections. In last elections of 2015, BJP had 17 councilors, while Congress had four , National Conference (NC) had two while three were independents. But this time the NC and PDP boycotted the elections. In 2010 elections BJP had won only four seats and Congress had 22.
The counting began with postal ballot followed by Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in a round wise ensuring strict COVID-19 safety measures with elaborate counting and security arrangements by district administration headed by Election Authority Leh, Sachin Kumar Vaishya.
The BJP’s promises however failed to yield result in Leh though party had assured to make both Leh and Kargil as Smart cities as it lost both Lower and Upper Leh constituencies to Congress candidates.
In 1-Turtuk Ghulam Mehdi of BJP defeated Ghulam Hussain independent by a margin of 367 votes while in 2-Hundar, Kunzang Lotus of BJP defeated Stanzin Chotar of Indian National Congress (INC) by a margin of 420 votes.
BJP candidate Tsering Angchuk defeated Tsewan Rigzin (INC) in 3-Diskit by a margin of 570 votes while Rigzen Lundup also of BJP defeated Jigmet Stobgais of INC by a margin of 416 votes in 4-Tegar constituency.
In 5-Panamik BJP candidate Tsering Sandup defeated Rigzin Norboo of INC by a margin of 376 votes while Tashi Namgyal of BJP trounced Namgyal Dorjey of INC by 180 votes in 6-tangtse constituency.
In 7-Chushul Konchok Stanzin independent defeated BJP’s Konchok Tsepel by a margin of 309 votes, while another independent candidate Ishey Spalzang defeated Thuptan Wangchuk of INC by a margin of 16 votes in 8-Nyoma constituency.
BJP’s Thinles Nurboo defeated Skarma Zotpa of INC by a margin of 133 votes in 9-Kungyam constituency while his party colleague Karma Namdak defeated INC candidate Gurmet Dorjey of INC by a margin of 566 votes in 10 Korzok constituency.
Congress candidate Rigzin Tsering defeated Urgian Phuntsog of AAP in 11-Sakti constituency by a margin of 20 votes while BJP candidate was put to number third in this constituency.
Another Congress candidate Sonam Thardos defeated BJP’s Tsering Palden by 79 votes in 12-Igoo constituency while Stanzin Chospel of BJP defeated Eshey Tsering of INC in 13-Martselang constituency by a margin of 684 votes.
BJP’s Stanzin Chosfail won the 14 Thiksay by a margin of 344 votes defeating his nearest rival Tundup Gyasto of Congress. His party colleague Mirza Hussain defeated Sayeeda Bano an independent by a margin of 735 votes in 15-Chuchot constituency.
Congress candidate Phuntsog Stanzin Tsepag defeated Tsering Namgial an independent by a margin of 36 votes in 16Upper Leh while in 17- Lower Leh BJP’s P Wangda suffered a humiliating defeat from Tsering Namgyal also of Congress. Wangda lost the seat by a margin of 1116 votes.
Congress candidate Tundup Nurbu defeated BJP’s Phunchok Dorjey by a margin of 57 votes in 18-Phyang constituency while Sonam Nurboo of BJP won 19 -Sku Markha with a margin of 67 votes by defeating Tsewang Gyaltsan an Independent candidate. The Congress candidate was put to third position in this constituency.
In 20-Basgo constituency INC candidate Tsering Norboo defeated BJP’s Dorji Angchok by a margin of 223 votes while his party colleague Smanla Dorje Nurboo defeated an Independent candidate Tsewan Nurboo by margin of 481 votes in 21- Saspol constituency. The BJP candidate was put to third place in this constituency.
Congress candidate Sonam Dorjey defeated BJP’s Tsering Wangchok by 245 votes in 22-Temisgam constituency while Lobzang Sherab of BJP won 23-Khaltsi constituency defeating Jigmet Rabgias of INC by a very low margin of nine votes.
Congress candidate Lundup Dorjai won 24-Skurbuchan defeating BJP’s Phuntsog Stanzin by a margin of 122 votes while in 25 -Lamayouru constituency Morup Dorjey of BJP defeated Congress candidate, Dorjey Gailson by a margin of 237 votes.
BJP’s Tashi Gayalson won by 311 votes by defeating his nearest rival Kunchok Norboo of Congress in 26 Lingshet constituency.
It may be recalled that the LAHDC, Leh was constituted in 1995 in accordance with Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Act of 1995 during PV Narsimha Rao Government and its first election was held in 1995. Later during the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed led PDP rule in 2003 a similar council was established for Kargil.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh has congratulated the BJP Leh for its spectacular performance and decisive victory in LAHDC, elections. In a tweet he said that this makes the beginning of a new journey of development of Leh as a part of the Union Territory of Ladakh under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi.
Former BJP national general secretary, Ram Madhav has also termed it first major victory for the party in Leh.
Hailing the BJP victory in LAHDC Leh elections, party leaders today said it showed that the people of the region have welcomed the abrogation of Article 370 as a positive change and have faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership.
Applauding the BJP’s Ladakh unit for the election victory, party president JP Nadda, in a tweet, said this result is historic and expressed his gratitude to the people of the region for their faith in BJP.
Echoing similar sentiments, Home Minister Amit Shah said the BJP’s landslide victory in LAHDC elections clearly reflects Ladakh’s unwavering trust in the party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership.
“I thank people of Ladakh for choosing development and prosperity,” Shah said.
Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the result is a “crystal clear manifestation” of the support of people to the abrogation of Article 370 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to “together with all, development for all and trust of all”.
Naqvi said during campaigning in the region, it was clearly visible that people have welcomed the abrogation of Article 370 as a positive change.
Minister of State for Home Kishan Reddy and Minister of State for Sports Kiren Rijiju also thanked the people of Ladakh region for reposing faith in the BJP.