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Ladakh records over 52 per cent voter turnout till 1 pm

Ladakh records over 52 per cent voter turnout till 1 pm
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Leh, May 20 (PTI) Over 52 per cent polling was recorded in Ladakh till 1 pm on Monday in the election to decide the fate of three candidates in the fray for the lone Lok Sabha seat in the Union territory, polling officials said.

They said polling was going on peacefully across the constituency spread over the two districts of Leh and Kargil. Voting began at 7 am.

The officials said 52.02 per cent of voters cast their ballots in the constituency in the first six hours of polling with Kargil district recording a turnout of 57.69 per cent and Leh 45.90 per cent.

Ladakh, the largest constituency in the country in terms of area, witnessed 71.05 per cent turnout in the 2019 general election.

This is the first major electoral battle in the region after it was carved out of Jammu and Kashmir and granted Union territory status in 2019.

Three candidates are contesting for the seat. The BJP has fielded Tashi Gyalson, chief executive councilor-cum-chairman of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (Leh) and the Congress has nominated Tsering Namgyal.

Springing a surprise, the Kargil Democratic Alliance has fielded Haji Haneefa Jan, the Kargil district president of the National Conference, which, like the Congress, is a constituent of the INDIA bloc.

The Congress has won the seat for the highest number of times — six — and had fielded Tsering Namgyal, the leader of opposition in the LAHDC, according to an agreement with the NC, as they were members of the INDIA bloc and the Leh Apex Body.

It was the LAB and the KDA that were spearheading the agitation in support of various demands of the Ladhaki people, including statehood and sixth schedule of the Constitution, for the past four years. But it hit a block in March after the BJP-led Centre did not agree with the demands.

However, now with the KDA fielding Jan, the challenges for the Congress as well as the BJP has increased in this seat that has more than 1.84 lakh voters — a majority (95,926) in Muslim-dominated Kargil district and 88,877 in Leh district.

KV Network

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