Accusing the Congress of having gifted the Ladakh Lok Sabha seat to the BJP on a platter, the National Conference (NC) has broken its alliance with the party in the all-powerful Kargil’s Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) which was being jointly controlled by both the parties.
If reports are to be believed, the NC might join hands with its arch-rival PDP to retain power in the LAHDC. The NC has already dropped two executive councillors of the Congress from the LAHDC. With 10 seats, the NC had emerged as the single largest party in the 26-member LAHDC in the elections last year.
The Congress won 8 seats and both the parties joined hands to capture the Council from BJP. Strength of 14 seats is required to control the LAHDC by any party.
The break up has come after the Congress failed to win the Ladakh seat although the NC and PDP were supporting its official candidate Rigzin Spalbar and the humiliating defeat came because the Congress rebel Asgarali Karbalai played a spoilsport by splitting the party’s votes.
When the Congress failed to persuade Asgarali Karbalai to withdraw his candidature, the PDP had asked its supporters to vote for an independent candidate Sajjad Kargali.
The election for 26 seats of the LAHDC was held and 4 other seats were filled by the state government through nomination. The PDP won 2 and the BJP got one seat. Five seats were won by independents. The nominated members do not have voting rights.
The chairman and chief executive councillor of LAHDC, Feroz Ahmad Khan, has dropped Congress executive councillors Nasir Hussain Munshi and Zakir Hussain and inducted PDP’s Mohammad Ali and NC’s Aga Syed Abbas in their place.
It is worth mentioning that the NC and PDP also did not field their candidates for the Jammu and Udhampur Lok Sabha seats where they supported the Congress. However, except Srinagar, the Congress contested the election for the Baramulla and Anantnag seats of Kashmir against these parties.
The NC has accused the Congress of betrayal of the alliance by fielding a proxy candidate in Ladakh to benefit the BJP.