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Oath of LAHDC-Kargil Councillors on Oct 17

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KARGIL: The elected councillors of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Kargil will take oath on Tuesday, a day before they elect their new Chief Executive Councillor.

The National Conference and Indian National Congress, who had fought the polls together, are holding elaborate discussions to zero in upon the names of two candidates who will hold the top chair for an equal period of two-and-a-half years.

The NC and Congress together won 22 seats in the election which were conducted on October 4 and the results of which were declared on October 8. Of the Twenty-six seats of the council which went to polls, the BJP won two seats, while two Independent candidates also registered victory.

The oath ceremony of the 26 newly elected members will be held on Tuesday at Syed Mehdi Memorial Auditorium Hall around 11 am, officials informed.

The administration has called the first meeting of the newly elected Council on Wednesday at 3 pm, where the new councillors will elect the new Chairman of the council.

Soon after Tuesday’s oath ceremony, the National Conference and Congress will hold a joint meeting of the Councillors to decide on the names of two CECs, one from each party.

The National Conference is expected to hold the post of the Chairman-cum-CEC for the first term of two and half years, being the party with the largest seats.

Feroz Ahmad Khan of National Conference, it may be mentioned, was the CEC for the full term of the fourth LAHDC Kargil.

National Conference vice president and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had stated that since his party has more seats than the Congress it should get the first term of the Chairperson.

The administration nominates four members with voting rights to the 30-member council and they are also expected to be announced soon.

The NC and Congress had announced a pre-poll alliance but fielded 17 and 22 candidates, respectively. Both parties said the arrangement was restricted to areas where there was a tough contest with the BJP.

The BJP, which won one seat in the last election and later took its tally to three with the joining of two PDP councillors, had fielded 17 candidates this time. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) tried its luck on four seats while 25 Independents were also in the fray.

Electronic voting machines were used for the first time for the council elections which took place at 278 polling stations across the district. The election recorded 77.61 per cent polling with 74,026 of the 95,388 voters exercising their right.

The election to the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC)-Kargil was the first poll to be held after Ladakh was carved out as a Union Territory following the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution.

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