Press Trust of India

Incumbent BJP MP joins campaigning for party candidate in Ladakh

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Leh: BJP’s incumbent Ladakh MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, who had “revolted” against the central leadership for not giving him ticket, on Friday pledged his support to party candidate Tashi Gyalson, ending more than a week of uncertainty in the party camp.

However, all is not well with the Ladakh unit of the Congress, which is facing a vertical divide between Leh and Kargil districts.

While official Congress candidate Tsering Namgyal, who is also leader of opposition in the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh, filed his nomination papers, the party’s Kargil unit on Friday accompanied National Conference leader Haji Hanifa Jan as he filed his nomination papers before the assistant returning officer.

A keen contest is on the cards in the constituency as Sajjad Kargili, one of the prominent leaders of the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA), also filed his nomination papers on Friday.

Accompanied by his supporters, BJP MP Namgyal reached party headquarters in Leh and extended his support to Gyalson, who is also the chairman-cum-chief executive councilor of LAHDC, Leh.

“I have not rejoined the BJP which is my home and my family. Differences do crop up sometimes within a family but I am not angry with the BJP, (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi or Gyalson. I am sure the BJP will continue its winning streak in the Ladakh Lok Sabha seat and Ladakh will be one among our target of 400 seats in the general elections,” he told reporters.

Namgyal said they will take whatever steps needed for the bright future of Ladakh, to meet aspirations of the people and ensure security of the region.

“I have learnt from the party that nation comes first, party second and self last… We have started campaigning for the party candidate,” he said.

Congress candidate Tsering Namgyal filed his nomination papers on Thursday, and said the party’s manifesto contains including Ladakh in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

“We support the four-point demand of the Leh Apex Body (LAB) and KDA, and we will forcefully raise the demands within and outside the Parliament to fulfil aspirations of the people,” he said, seeking support from the voters across the Union Territory.

The LAB and KDA are jointly spearheading an agitation for the past four years to demand statehood for Ladakh, its inclusion in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, separate Lok Sabha seats for Leh and Kargil and jobs for the local youth.

In Kargil, two founding members of the KDA – Mohd Hanifa Jan of the National Conference and Sajjad Kargili — filed their nominations as independent candidates.

“I am not fighting on behalf of the National Conference or the Congress but represent the KDA,” Jan, flanked by senior Congress leaders, including Kargil district president Nasir Hussain Munshi, told reporters after filing his nomination.

Munshi also defended Jan’s joining the fray and said, “Some people in Delhi are taking decisions sitting in the air-conditioned rooms without knowing the ground reality. We had several rounds of discussions with the party high command and we have decided to support Jan’s candidature who is KDA’s candidate.”

They said Jan’s fighting elections will have no bearing on the KDA and the unity with LAB. “Both these represent the people of Ladakh and will continue to fight for their four-point agenda.”

In a related development, Sajjad Kargili also filed his nomination papers as an independent candidate and said he will become the voice of the people. Kargili had also fought the 2019 parliamentary elections and was defeated by the BJP candidate.

Friday was the last day for filing of nomination papers from the constituency, which will go to polls in the fifth phase on May 20. The scrutiny of the nomination papers will be held on Saturday and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is May 6.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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