Ladakh set for LS polls on Monday

Leh:  With 1.84 lakh voters in two districts of Leh and Kargil, the Ladakh Lok Sabha constituency is going to vote on Monday.

There are 577 polling stations in the constituency, including 298 in Leh district and 279 in Kargil district.

Hanle (Anle) Phu polling station in Leh district is located at a height of 15,000 feet above sea level and is the World’s second-highest polling station. Warshi polling station in the Nubra area of Leh district is the last village and only 20 km away from the Siachen Glacier base camp.

This polling station has been set up for only five voters belonging to one family.

Poll staff, EVMs and security personnel were airlifted by the IAF to Jinchan and Dipling polling stations in Leh and Phema, Ralakun and Shadey polling stations in Kargil district.

Poll staff for plain areas of the two districts is being despatched along with the security personnel on Sunday.

Three candidates, Tashi Gyalson of the BJP, Tsering Namgyal of the Congress and Haji Hanifa Jan, an independent candidate supported by rebels of the National Conference (NC) and the Congress are in the fray.

As per the terms of an alliance of the INDIA bloc, NC had left the Ladakh seat to the Congress, but the rebellion within the local NC and the Congress party has brought the INDIA bloc alliance agreement to nought in this constituency.

Of 1.84 lakh voters, 95,926 are in the Kargil district and 88,877 in Leh district. There are 1,127 voters with Disabilities (PwDs) and 1,570 elderly voters.

Leh district has a Buddhist majority while Kargil has a Shia Muslim majority.

BJP won this seat in 2014 and 2019. This time, it is likely that the lone Muslim candidate from Kargil district would have an edge over the two rivals from Congress and the BJP.

The rebels expect the Buddhist vote to be split between the Congress and the BJP while the independent Muslim candidate expects to get all the Shia Muslim votes of the constituency.

In 2014, BJP candidate Thupstan Chhewang won the seat in a four-cornered contest with Tsering Samphel in the fray from Congress and Ghulam Raza and Syed Mohammad Kazim as independents from Kargil.

In 2019, BJP candidate Jamyang Tsering Namgayal won among four candidates, three others being Rigzin Spalbar of Congress, Sajjad Kargili and Haji Asgar Ali Karbalai of Kargil.

Deputy Commissioner Leh, Santosh Sukhadeve has imposed restrictions under Section 144 CrPc for 72 hours to ensure a trouble-free poll process.


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