NC, Cong join hands in Kargil to form Govt today

NC and Cong leaders at a meeting in Kargil on Sunday. —Excelsior/Basharat Ladakhi
NC and Cong leaders at a meeting in Kargil on Sunday. —Excelsior/Basharat Ladakhi

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Sept 30: In a significant political development which could impact the State politics, National Conference and Congress today entered into historic agreement to form local Government in Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Kargil.
The local Government will be formed tomorrow morning for which the Ladakh Affairs Department has notified conduct of election at 11 am at Baroo Hall at Kargil district headquarters.
NC candidate for LAHDC Kargil Chairman-cum-Chief Executive Councilor, Feroz Khan told the Excelsior on telephone that senior leaders of both NC and Congress met tonight in which broad contours for formation of the local Government were finalized.
“The two parties have agreed to share power in the LAHDC Kargil. As per the agreement, the Chairman-cum-CEC will be from National Conference while the NC and Congress will have two Executive Councilors (Deputy Ministers) each,” Khan said, adding that a decision on the newly created post of the Deputy Chairman for the Council will be taken when the order to this effect is formally issued by the Government.
The Council can have Chairman and four Executive Councilors. Post of the Deputy Chairman for the Councils of Leh and Kargil was recently created by the Government.
Names of the Executive Councilors will be finalized later by both the parties, Khan said.
With NC and Congress joining hands, their strength in the LAHDC Kargil has gone up to 18 (NC 10 and Congress 8), which forms absolute majority in the House of 30.
The deal was finalized at a meeting which was attended by senior district leaders of NC and Congress tonight including Feroz Khan, Haji Haneefa Jan, district president NC and former Chairman of the LAHDC Kargil, Nasir Hussain Munshi, district president Congress, Zakir Hussain and Mohammad Ismail, both Councilors from Congress, Haji Mohammad Abbas and Mubarak Shah, both Councilors from National Conference.
Political observers were of the view that the NC and Congress alliance in Kargil was quite significant as both were major rivals in mountain locked district for Assembly and Parliament elections and it would be seen how they will contest upcoming Lok Sabha poll and the Assembly elections, whenever they are held.
Presently, Congress represents Kargil Assembly seat while an Independent holds Zanskar Assembly constituency. Though the Independent, Bakir Rizvi had won the election with support of the NC, he had later aligned with the BJP. In 2008 Assembly election, NC had won both Kargil and Zanskar seats, defeating Congress.
In the previous LAHDC Kargil, both NC and Congress remained bitter rivals, joining hands with Independents to topple the Councils of each other twice.
NC had emerged single largest party in the LAHDC Kargil in the elections held on August 27, the verdict for which was fractured with no party securing majority.
Out of 26 seats for which election was held, NC had won 12 followed by Congress 8, PDP 2, BJP one and Independents 5. The State Government was authorized to nominate four Councilors, which it did recently. As all the four were affiliated with BJP, the party’s strength had gone up to 5.
Earlier, NC Chairman candidate, Feroz Khan had staked claim to form the local Government with support of four Independents taking their strength to 14 in the House of 26 as by then four Councilors hadn’t been nominated. However, equations changed after nominations and NC needed 16 Councilors to form the local Government, which was an uphill task for it without taking support of any of the three other parties including Congress, BJP and PDP.