SocietyPolitics Internal Political Divide Mounts Concerns Ahead Of LS Polls In Ladakh

Internal Political Divide Mounts Concerns Ahead Of LS Polls In Ladakh

With elections nearing in Ladakh, the internal divide in political parties over announcement of candidates continues to create concerns in regional leadership.

With the election schedule nearing in the politically significant parliamentary constituency of the Union Territory of Ladakh, the internal divide in political parties over announcement of candidates continues to create concerns in regional leadership, while BJP eyes third consecutive win. 

Ladakh will vote on 20th of this month.

Lok Sabha elections

This will be the first LS election in the region after it was carved out as a separate Union Territory back in 2019. Ladakh consists of two districts, Kargil and Leh, which have two major political parties which include BJP and Congress.

This will be the first LS election in the region after it was carved out as a separate Union Territory back in 2019. 

In Kargil district, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) has always been dominant followed by Congress, while in Leh, in the recent two Lok Sabha elections, BJP has had the upper hand. With close to 184,798 voters in the region, Ladakh will see a direct contest between BJP and Congress.

Candidates in Ladakh’s election

Three candidates are in the poll fray of Lok Sabha elections: Tsering Namgyal of INDIA bloc (Alliance Candidate), Advocate Tashi Gyalson of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Independent candidate Haji Hanifa Jan. Of the three contesting candidates, two are from Leh and one from Kargil.  

Significance of LS election

Sajad Kargili, a local political activist said that this is their first opportunity to send someone to the parliament to represent the agenda of the People of Ladakh. ‘We are expecting someone to go to parliament to represent our aspirations. There has been no voice for Ladakh in the last 5 years. I have also withdrawn my candidature making way for Haji Hanifa Jan. We expect that he will win so that he raises issues of 6th schedule and statehood in Parliament,’ he told FII.

Source: Frontline- The Hindu

He said that in previous elections, they never had challenges like demands for safeguard and unemployment. But post UT status, people of Ladakh have been betrayed by the ruling government while everything has been lost. ‘Highly educated youth are jobless. We are number 2 in the unemployment ratio in the entire nation,’ he said.

Tsering Phuntsog, the Aam Aadmi Party president, said that the forthcoming lok sabha elections hold very high political significance for Ladakh particularly after getting UT status amid growing concerns. ‘Nothing is left for Ladakh with identity concerns mounting. People have no say in the government. The Government of India is not doing anything with regard to constitutional safeguard. People are not happy at all,’ he told us.

Tsering Phuntsog, the Aam Aadmi Party president, said that the forthcoming lok sabha elections hold very high political significance for Ladakh particularly after getting UT status amid growing concerns.

He said that Government has not done anything good for the welfare of people: ‘We miss, when we were part of erstwhile state of J&K with say in government including political representation. We will keep on struggling until we meet our demands.’

PT Kunzag, the BJP Spokesperson of Ladakh said that UT status has always been the region’s demand for the past 70 years but it was only achieved under BJP. ‘The Union Governments in the past never initiated any concrete steps to make Ladakh a UT. A long pending demand was fulfilled. People are really very excited to vote BJP to power again,’ he said. ‘BJP is the only party that can work and fulfill the demands like constitutional safeguard to Ladakh. Whatever pending issues are there only BJP can fulfil them and people are really very excited to vote for the first time after (Ladakh) becoming UT.’

Source: Al Jazeera

Former Minister Qambar Ali Akhoon said that LS elections are very important for Ladakh given that democracy no longer exists here post 2019 with no political representation. ‘We are ready for elections and preparations are going on with a continuous campaign across the region including remote places,’ he told FII.

Political divide in Ladakh

Sajad blamed Congress, saying that they are the biggest mess in the INDIA alliance because they have not included statehood in their manifesto nor the unemployment ratio and have specifically included 6th schedule only. ‘They did not take everyone in confidence before announcing their candidate in Leh. Congress has also said that the LS mandate is for a particular community, which is a communal thing. It comes at a time when Congress across the nation has been saying they are working against hatred like this. Congress needs to rethink on their policies in Ladakh given they have spoiled the unit’ he said.

BJP Spokesperson PT Kunzag said that about three names were recommended including the present member parliament. ‘It was the decision of the party high command to nominate Advocate Tashi Gyalson, the current Chief Executive Councillor (CEC) LAHDC Leh as candidate,’ he told FII.

There were initially some concerns with regard to it’, he said while referring to Jamyang Namgyal’s cryptic social media post where he expressed discontent for being dropped from candidature. ‘But everything is normal now.

Announcements of candidates separately by the INDIA bloc in both Leh and Kargil is unfortunate. This is something which was already discussed and strategised and shouldn’t have happened. There was a need for Apex Body Leh and KDA to announce a joint candidate, but it didn’t happen

Tsering Phuntsog, Aam Aadmi Party president.

There is no question about the political divide within the BJP in Ladakh,’ he said. ‘Both MP Jamyang Namgyal and Tashi Gyalson are campaigning together like a family.’ He rejected reports about political divide saying that these are just rumours spread by the rest of the parties while BJP is united and are campaigning together. He also said that people are happy to vote for BJP.

Source: Al Jazeera

Tsering Phuntsog said that it is a very sad situation now: ‘Announcements of candidates separately by the INDIA bloc in both Leh and Kargil is unfortunate. This is something which was already discussed and strategised and shouldn’t have happened. There was a need for Apex Body Leh and KDA to announce a joint candidate, but it didn’t happen.’

J&K Congress Chief Vikar Rasool Wani who is in Ladakh campaigning for Tsering Namgyal said that he (Tsering Namgyal) is the INDIA bloc candidate. He said that their main objective is to take all Congress associates together and help their candidate win. ‘(Names of) senior leaders staying away from supporting Tsering Namgyal shall be shared with the high command and the decision about it lies with them. Anti party activities reports would be submitted and the rest depends on them,’ he said.

Qambar Ali Akhoon said that the Kargil’s Unity candidate Haji Hanifa Jan has support of all political and religious parties in the district including Congress.

Qambar Ali Akhoon said that the Kargil’s Unity candidate Haji Hanifa Jan has support of all political and religious parties in the district including Congress. He also said that Congress is already in a power sharing deal with them at Hill Council.

On the mass resignations from JKNC party, he said that the Congress Kargil unit had assured to receive the mandate which didn’t happen and it was given to Leh forcing them to field a candidate following which mass resignation was announced.

Fearing lack of political representation 

Sajad said that previously they were enjoying a special status, with an assembly representation but now are left with a single parliament seat. ‘We see it as an opportunity to raise the concerns this region is facing.’ He said that the absence of representation in assembly is not good for the region. ‘Full-fledged statehood must be given to Ladakh separately to ensure representation. These are the opportunities we want to explore. We don’t want to be under a UT setup where there is no democracy, no legislature with only bureaucratic rule,’ Sajad Kargili told FII.

Source: The Kashmir Reader

The BJP Spokesperson said that maybe formation of the legislative assembly in the UT setup will take some time. ‘We are in favour of that. Hill Council needs to be empowered with more legislative powers for the good of the region’ he said.

Tsering Phuntsog said that Ladakh used to have four MLAs and two MLCs but now nothing is left. ‘Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) has also been left powerless compared to previous years. People are wise and have already understood the need for constitutional safeguard.’

He also said that only a single member parliament will be the decision maker. ‘This is why demand for constitutional safeguard has been going on. People are connected to it and are concerned,’ he said.

Qamar Ali Akhoon said that they longer have 4 MLAs and 2 MLCs which is a concern.

Qamar Ali Akhoon said that they longer have 4 MLAs and 2 MLCs which is a concern. ‘There won’t be any political representation. Both Hill Councils have been disempowered with less access to power. Only 10% of the funds are spent by the Hil council, of the total budget granted to UT,’ he said.

BJP eyeing third consecutive LS win in Ladakh

P T Kunzag said that BJPs manifesto for Ladakh context will be issued separately in a day or two. ‘We have included the entire development taken place and a road map for next five years including border development in Eastern Ladakh. We are also committed to provide constitutional safeguard to Ladakh,’ he said.

Source: The Indian Express

He also said that BJP is getting immense public response: ‘With the amount of positive public response, we are hopeful of a third consecutive win. People are happy to vote for BJP and seem too excited.

BJPs contest with INDIA bloc in Ladakh

PT Kunzag said that both JKNC and Congress have already announced their candidates separately which proves there is a political divide. ‘If alliance existed, either of them would’ve been contesting. The Congress candidate in Leh is contesting only to cut down vote share of BJP,’ he told FII.

INDIA alliance is a failure in the region and Congress doesn’t even exist. An independent candidate can’t do anything good for Ladakh. Only BJP can provide whatever this region needs. BJP has fulfilled the dream of UT status, now there is a need to work on constitutional safeguard and empowering Hill Councils,’ he said.


Leave a Reply

Related Posts

Skip to content