The Bharatiya Janata Party has got a clear majority in the Ladakh Hill Development Council (LAHDC) polls, getting 18 seats, while the Congress got five seats and the National Conference (NC) two. BJP ally People’s Democratic Party, which had contested eight seats, could not open its account. The NC contested eight seats. In the outgoing LAHDC, Congress had 22 seats, while BJP had four seats. There were 90 candidates in the fray and the new council will take charge in the first week of November. State BJP leaders said that Dr Sonam Dawa Lonpo was likely to be the new chief executive counsellor of LAHDC.
BJP ministers and other leaders camped in Leh for the polls and promised in their party manifesto Union Territory status for Ladakh, apart from opening pilgrimage routes to Kailash Manasarovar via Ladakh. BJP MP and state party president Jugal Kishore Sharma said his party now had presence in all the three regions of the state. BJP had won the Lok Sabha seat of Ladakh, but lost the two Assembly seats in the region in the Jammu and Kashmir polls.
The LAHDC directly governs Ladakh and can take decisions without the state government’s intervention.
Congress MLA from Leh, Nawang Rigzin Gora alleged that the BJP-PDP government lured voters with alcohol and money.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the victory by tweeting “Delighted at the results of Ladakh Hill Council Polls. My gratitude to people for placing their faith in BJP. Congrats to BJP Karyakartas.”