SRINAGAR: In a major boost to saffron party in the State, the BJP has swept Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Leh polls by winning 18 of the 26 seats and wresting control of the council from its arch rival Congress.
The saffron party had contested 24 of the 26 LAHDC Leh seats for which elections were held on October 19.
The party has won 18 seats while Congress, which had been controlling the LAHDC Leh, has won only five seats. The opposition National Conference won two seats while an independent candidate also won a seat.
BJP had won the Lok Sabha election from Ladakh Constituency, the lone parliamentary seat in the cold desert, in general elections held last year. It was for the first time that BJP had won parliamentary election from Ladakh, where the party had negligible presence till few years back.
It is expected that BJP president of the region Dr Sonam Dawa Lonpo will be new Chief Executive Councilor (CEC) of the LAHDC Leh.
BJP’s ally PDP drew blank in the election. The party had fielded eight candidates.
Overall 90 candidates including five women contestants were in fray for 26 councilor seats.
The LAHDC Leh is an Autonomous Hill Council that administers the Leh district of Jammu and Kashmir. The council comprises 30 councilors of which 26 are directly elected and 4 are nominated members.
The LAHDC Leh polls was the first electoral ballot test for PDP and BJP after formation of their coalition government in the State on March 1 this year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is delighted over party’s splendid performance in the polls.
“Delighted at the results of Ladakh Hill Council Polls. My gratitude to people for placing their faith in BJP. Congrats to BJP Karyakartas,” PM tweeted.
The State unit of BJP celebrated the party’s victory in the LAHDC Leh elections at party headquarters in Jammu. The party leaders and activists greeted each other, distributed sweets and danced to the tunes of drum beats.
The State BJP president and MP Jugal Kishore Sharma said BJP has written a new chapter in Ladakh and the credit for it goes to the policies of Narendra Modi led NDA government in centre and the ideology and principles of BJP.
BJP MP and former State President Shamsher Singh Manhas said with the win in LAHDC Leh polls, BJP has established itself in all the three regions of the state. “It is now clear that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have found BJP as the most reliable and people friendly political party”.
“Those who had been saying that BJP is a party confined to two and half districts of Jammu, should now accept the ground reality that it has its strong holds in Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir. On the other hand Congress and NC are losing ground after every election,” he said.