J&K: NC Elated to Fight LAHDC-K Polls with Plough Symbol, KDA Calls it Embarrassing for L-UT
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Srinagar: On Wednesday, the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) welcomed the Supreme Court verdict allowing its candidates to use “plough” as an election symbol in the upcoming hill council polls in Kargil.
The Supreme Court quashed the notification for elections to Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) - Kargil that were scheduled on September 10. The apex court also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on the Ladakh administration whilst ordering the Election Commission to issue a new election notification within a week.
Hailing the decision, NC vice-president Omar Abdullah said the party got the verdict they deserved as he slammed Ladakh’s UT administration and the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) for creating the hurdle in the polls.
“JKNC got the verdict we wanted and deserved. Our symbol, the plough, was given to us by the Hon’ble Supreme Court earlier this morning. The BJP, ably assisted by a totally biased Ladakh administration, did everything possible to deny us our rights. The court saw through this and penalised them with Rs 1 lakh costs imposed on the administration. Congratulations to JKNC Kargil and a huge thank you to Shariq J Reyaz for the amazing job he did arguing this in front of the HC and SC,” the former chief minister wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The Ladakh UT administration had filed a petition in the court objecting to the NC candidates' use of the plough symbol. The admin argued that the Election Symbol Order 1968 applied to assembly and parliamentary polls, not local body elections.
The Supreme Court order, however, has come as a relief to the National Conference, with the party terming it a “significant win” ahead of the elections.
“We have a legitimate claim to the 'plough' symbol and anticipate that the Ladakh Administration will adhere to the court's directives by issuing the necessary orders,” NC spokesperson Tanvir Sadiq said.
In a statement, Sadiq added that regardless of the actions taken by the BJP or its administration, it is ultimately the people who will decide the future of Kargil through their votes.
Sajjad Kargili, a member of the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA), told NewsClick that the fresh decision had come as a “huge embarrassment” for the Ladakh UT administration, arguing that the latter did not act neutral in the region.
“The role that the UT administration played was biased. It has become evident that the admin has been leaning towards a particular party, confirming the fears of locals. It is instances such as these that end confidence amongst the people,” Kargili said.
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