Around 65.17 % votes were cast in Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) polls which were held Saturday to elect 26 new councilors from 90 candidates. Amid cool sun, the enthusiastic voters started queeing up at polling booths as voting began at 8 in the morning. Men, women and young voters formed beelines at the booths as the day progressed. Abhi Dolma, 93, from Skara village was on of the women among oldest voters who cast their votes. An official spokesman said in a statement that polling went peacefully throughout the day. Congress, BJP, NC, PDP and New Ladakh Movement candidates are in fray besides the independent candidates. The counting of votes scheduled on October 23. Meanwhile, Congress’s face in Ladakh and legislative party leader Nawang Rigzin Jora blamed the ruling PDP-BJP alliance of using state machinery and distributing money to lure voters. “We are emerging a front winners. I mean we are sweeping the elections,” Jora told KNS over phone, adding, that the both BJP and PDP used state machinery to rig elections in their favours. “They (PDP and BJP) distributed notes among voters, but still they are going to lose,” he said. Jora said that their party will sweep the Leh Autonomous Hill Development Council elections. Jora said that to ensure state machinery was used to their benefit, both deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh and education minister Nayeem Akhter were camping in Leh. However, the ruling BJP dismissed the allegations of their rival. BJP’s MLC Ramesh Arora told KNS over phone that the Congress party is “frustrated” with the loses they have suffered in the elections that have been held for state assemblies and the parliament as well. “We are confident of wining a majority in the polls. The allegations leveled by Congress party are just non sense and baseless,’’ Arora said, adding, that BJP does not use illegal means to win elections. BJP and Congress had fielded candidates on 25 seats, while PDP, which is making efforts to set their foot in the cold desert, and NC are contesting on eight seats each. Meanwhile, analysts, the KNS spoke to, said that BJP will emerge as lead winner with 13 seats. They said Congress may emerge victorious on 10 seats, while PDP and NC may claim only two seats each.
2015 Kashmir Despatch