Tuesday, May 21
Disgruntled JTN begins outreach drive, hints at going solo in polls in Ladakh

Disgruntled JTN begins outreach drive, hints at going solo in polls in Ladakh

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LEH: Disgruntled and defiant after the Bharatiya Janata Party dropped him and named Leh hill council chief Advocate Tashi Gyalson as its candidate from the Ladakh Lok Sabha seat, sitting Member of Parliament from Ladakh, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal has started his outreach drive to various parts of the region, even as he hinted at fighting the upcoming elections as an independent candidate if things are not amended by the saffron party.

High-voltage drama unfolded on April 23, after the BJP named chairman-cum-chief executive councillor of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Leh Tashi Gyalson as its candidate from the Ladakh seat.

Namgyal who had reached Leh on April 24 to a huge crowd of supporters and spent next two days meeting with his supporters there, drove to Kargil district over the weekend, where he reached out to his supporters and general public over the two days.

Nagmyal spent the Saturday in Zanskar and arrived in Sankoo on Sunday, where he interacted with his supporters and BJP workers.

Speaking to the media, Namgyal said that he was still searching for answers to why he was dropped by the BJP.

“Did I spare any efforts to fulfil my duties as the representative of the people of Ladakh in the last five years? I am looking for these answers.

“Hopefully, I will get my answers in one-two days. If not, I will carve my own way,” he said.
When probed further, Namgyal said that fighting the elections as an independent would be a decision of the public. “I am reaching out to my people and it is their will..they will decide,” he said.

At the Sankoo meeting, Namgyal expressed his disappointment over denial of party mandate “without giving no reason” and spoke of the party affairs in Ladakh being run by a group of ‘3-4 people’ and said that he had demanded action against them in the past.

“After the party declared its candidate, I sat inside my home for three days.. I gave the party three-day-window so they can improve things..make workers happy. Today, our workers are not ready to accept the candidate (Tashi Gyalson),” he said.

“The candidate (Gyalson) is not at fault. He is in a fix. He is unable to campaign or file his nomination. And it is the group of those 4 people responsible for this situation. The party must take disciplinary

action against those 4 people,” he asserted.
Namgyal said that he has worked day in and day out to strengthen the BJP in Ladakh.
“Last time we polled 43 thousand votes in the Lok Sabha election of 2019. This time, I had given the call for 50 thousand plus votes. But what have you (the party) done? You have made it difficult to get even 5 thousand votes,” he said.
He, however, said that his fight is not against the party.

“My fight is for the party. But this decision is wrong done with the BJP workers. Today, when I am raising my voice, it must be hurting a lot of people who have been wrongly running the party affairs for their own benefits. But, we will improve this system. We will put the dignity of the party workers at the top,” he roared.

He said that he is visiting different areas of Ladakh to consult with the supporters of Ladakh.
“People have been telling me that they are with the BJP because of Namgyal. If Namgyal is not there, where will they go…So I have started this outreach to assure you that even today, I will fight for my supporters and BJP workers and will keep this party alive.

Namgyal asked his supporters what should he do if the party doesn’t respect the sentiments of the BJP workers.

“Fight (as) Independent..win or loss doesn’t matter,” said one of the supporters attending the meeting.
At this, Namgyal said that there is still time for the party to set things right.

“Abhi bhi kuch bighda nahi hai…The last date of filing nomination is May 3,” he said, and asserted that he will abide by what his supporters decide for him.

The BJP’s decision to drop Namgyal comes amid resentment towards the ruling party among a section of Buddhists in Leh.

The local sources said Gyalson, who is also a lawyer, is in a better position to maintain the BJP’s hold over the seat, which also includes Muslim-majority Kargil. Polling is scheduled for May 20 in the constituency.

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