SRINAGAR: Six months after joining hands to form a coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has decided not to forge alliance with its ally BJP for Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh elections and contest the polls independently.
“PDP will contest the LAHDC Leh polls independently. There will be no alliance with any party including BJP for the polls,” Senior PDP leader and Minister for Roads and Building Syed Altaf Bukhari told reporters on sidelines of a function, here today.
LAHDC is an Autonomous Hill Council that administers the hilly Leh district of Jammu and Kashmir. The council, which was created in 1995, comprises 30 councillors of which 26 are elected directly through voting and four others are nominated members.
Bukhari denied any sort of understanding between the ruling alliance partners PDP and BJP in the State over contesting of LAHDC polls. “There won’t be any alliance and both PDP and BJP will be fighting the elections independently”.
It is the first elections in the State after PDP and BJP joined hands to form a coalition government in the State in March this year.
Earlier, there were reports that PDP and BJP will contest the elections jointly.
Admitting that party’s has not much presence in the region, Bukhari said, “We may be contesting only four to five seats but without any alliance with any party including BP”.
He said some newspapers have reported that PDP and BJP will jointly contest the LAHDC elections but that is not the case.
The voting for 26 LAHDC Leh seats, for which councillors are directly elected, would be held on October 17 in Leh, Ladakh and votes will be counted on October 23. The term of the present council expires on October 28.
Another senior PDP leader Peerzada Mansoor, who is Political Advisor to PDP President Mehboob Mufti, also asserted that his party would be independently contesting the four seats in the upcoming LAHDC Leh elections.
“PDP has contributed immensely in the development of the Ladakh region and is hopeful that the people of Leh will repose faith and confidence in the party in the ensuing elections,” he said.
Congress has always had the upper hand in LAHDC elections in Leh, Ladakh.