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J&K: LAHDC Election to be Held in Kargil on October 4 Now

Anees Zargar |
UT admin announces fresh date after Supreme Court quashed previous election notification following a row over use of Plough as party symbol by candidates of J&KNC ensued ahead of the polling
LAHDC Election

Srinagar: The Union Territory of Ladakh administration has issued a fresh notification for elections for the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Kargil, on October 4, nearly a month after the polls were scheduled earlier. 

According to the latest notification dated September 7, issued by the Administrative Secretary, Election Department, UT Ladakh Yetindra M. Maralkar, the nomination process will begin on September 9. 

The officials stated that the last day for making nominations will be September 16, and the nominations will be scrutinised on September 18. The last date for the withdrawal of nominations will be on September 20, and after the voting exercise on October 4, the counting of votes will be carried out on October 8. 

“The Model Code of Conduct shall come into force from the date of publication of
this notification is in the official e-gazette of UT Ladakh and shall remain in force till such
time the election process is completed. The code of conduct shall be applicable to the
entire Kargil District,” the notification read. 

The UT admin announced the fresh date after the Supreme Court of India quashed the previous election notification following a row over the use of Plough as a party symbol by the candidates of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference ensued ahead of the polling. 

The Lieutenant Governor-led administration objected to using party symbols and filed a petition in this regard. But, earlier on Wednesday, the apex court held that NC candidates were entitled to use their party symbol. In contrast, the court reprimanded the UT administration and imposed a fine of Rs 1 Lakh for filing the petition. 

The Supreme Court directed that a fresh notification calling for the election to constitute the 5th Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Kargil, shall be issued within seven days from the date of its Judgement dated September 6, 2023. 

The voting will be held in 26 constituencies across Kargil, which is a part of the Ladakh Union Territory, for which authorities have set up as many as 278 polling booths. The polling in October will be the first such exercise in Kargil after the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35 A and the subsequent carving of Ladakh as a UT from the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. The last polls for LAHDC–Kargil were held in 2018. This time, as many as 89 candidates are fighting in the election for the hill council, a 30-member body which is responsible for development, governance and local representation in the mountainous region. 

The National Conference and Congress party- with 17 and nine candidates, respectively -are fighting as an alliance against the Bhartiya Janata Party’s (BJP) 17 candidates. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has also entered the fray with the participation of four of its candidates, while as many as 42 candidates are fighting in the elections independently.

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