The voting for the fifth Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC)-Kargil is set to take place today. This is the first time polls are being held in Ladakh since Article 370 was revoked. The hill council election in Kargil is the first local poll in Ladakh since it was split from J&K in August 2019 and made a UT.
The counting of votes is scheduled for October 8 and the new council will be in place before October 11. The existing council, headed by National Conference’s Feroz Ahmad Khan, completed its five-year term on October 1.
A total of 95,388 voters, including 46,762 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise from 8am to 4pm.
A total of 85 candidates are contesting on 26 seats of the 30-member Hill Council.
The National Conference and Congress have announced a pre-poll alliance but have put up 17 and 22 candidates, respectively. The arrangement has been restricted to areas where there is a tough contest with the BJP.
BJP, which won one seat in the last election and later took its tally to three with the joining of two PDP councillors, has fielded 17 candidates this time.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is trying its luck from four seats while 25 independents are also in the fray, the officials said.
Electronic voting machines (EVMs) are being used for the first time for the council elections.
According to election officials, out of 278 polling stations being set up across the district, 114 are hypersensitive and 99 sensitive. Additional companies of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) have already been deployed and are performing their duties to ensure peaceful polling.