Congress Faces Litmus Test in Ladakh Seat

Published: 12th April 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th April 2014 01:51 AM   |  A+A-

The Congress candidate from Ladakh,   Tsering Samphal, is in trouble as the Sunni and Shia Muslim influential groups in the region with the support of a senior party leader are mulling to field a joint candidate against him.

The move comes after the party’s decision to field Samphal from the seat didn’t go down well with the senior leader and chairman of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Kargil, Asgar Ali Karbalai. The Congress chose to contest the Ladakh Lok Sabha seat as per its seat-sharing agreement with the National Conference (NC) and had zeroed in on Samphal as the party candidate. 

Karbalai, according to sources, had been lobbying against Samphal and was hurt by the party’s decision to ignore his choice of candidate. “He is in talks with Sunni and Shia influential groups - Islamia High School and Imam Khomeni Memorial Trust - in the region to field a joint candidate against Samphal,” they said.

Both Islamia High School and IImam Khomeini Memorial Trust are nfluencial groups in the region and fielding a joint candidate could mar the Congress’ chances.

Karbalai told Express over phone that he has not yet decided whether to support the party candidate and was considering all options. “Everything will be clear by April 19,” he said.

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