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Cracks within I.N.D.I.A bloc wide open in Ladakh Lok Sabha constituency

Differences surface between NC, Congress over candidate
12:42 AM May 03, 2024 IST | Irfan Raina
cracks within i n d i a bloc wide open in ladakh lok sabha constituency
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Kargil, May 2:  Cracks within the I.N.D.I.A bloc came wide open today as the Congress announced the name of Tsering Namgyal as its official candidate hours after the National Conference (NC) and Congress leaders from Kargil had announced the name of Haji Hanifa Jan as the joint candidate for Ladakh Lok Sabha seat. Haji Hanifa Jan is a National Conference leader and district president NC Kargil.

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Addressing a press conference, Congress Territorial Ladakh president Nawang Rigzin Jora declared Tsering Namgyal, currently the leader of Opposition in LAHDC, Leh, as their candidate as approved by the Congress high command for the Lok Sabha poll from Ladakh. These developments took place despite that National Conference and Congress are in Alliance in Ladakh and significantly part of I.N.D.I.A bloc. And as per the seat sharing agreement between the National Conference and Congress the Ladakh Lok Sabha seat had gone to Congress and Congress was supposed to field its candidate for Ladakh constituency.

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Speaking to Greater Kashmir, Congress Territorial president and former minister Nawang Rigzin Jora said that Ladakh, under INDIA bloc, was supposed to go to the Congress and Haji Hanifa is an NC leader. He added that if the Kargil unit of Congress had nominated any senior or young leader it was understandable but certainly the Congress cannot give mandate to a leader of the other party. Jora said that they have conveyed the Congress leadership about these developments and asked them to approach NC leadership in this regard. " Our leadership will talk to NC Vice President Omar Abdullah in this regard and hopefully the consensus prevails over the nomination of T Namgyal as the candidate for I.N.D.I.A bloc in Ladakh, " Jora added.

Working president Congress Ladakh, Asgar Ali Karbalai couldnot be contacted for his comments. The Congress candidate Tsering Namgyal filed his nomination papers before returning officer for Ladakh Parliamentary Constituency, Santosh Sukhadeve at Leh. He was accompanied by Congress Territorial president Nawang Rigzin Jora and large number of party workers.

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Interestingly, in another significant development the prominent social-political activist from Ladakh and KDA member Sajad Hussain Kargili has announced to contest the upcoming Parliament elections as an independent candidate.

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Sajjad Kargili, who contested last Lok Sabha election as an independent candidate and bagged 31,552 votes finishing second said the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) has not been consulted. Kargili, said he has been receiving numerous calls asking whether the Kargil Democratic Alliance has been consulted regarding the selection of the Lok Sabha candidate. “As a Core Committee member of KDA, I would like to clarify that both NC and Congress have independently selected their candidates for Ladakh Lok Sabha seat within their respective parties. As of now, not a single meeting of KDA was held on this matter,” Kargili wrote on X.

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Talking to Greater Kashmir Sajad Kargili said that he will file his nomination papers for Ladakh Lok Sabha seat as an Independent candidate on Friday.

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Additional General Secretary NC Qamar Ali Akhoon when contacted said that Haji Hanifa Jan will remain their joint candidate from Kargil.

Surprisingly, the National Conference leadership had on Wednesday congratulated NC leader Haji Hanifa Jan for being nominated as joint candidate for Ladakh constituency.

"JKNC President Dr Farooq Abdullah and VP @OmarAbdullah extend their congratulations to JKNC District President Haji Hanifa Jan on his nomination as the joint candidate of JKNC and @INCIndia for the Ladakh Parliamentary Lok Sabha seat.

They expressed their confidence in his ability to unite the people of Ladakh and advocate for their concerns of ongoing disempowerment since August 5, 2019, in the Indian Parliament. “Wishing him the best of luck, they believe he will effectively represent the region's interests on the national stage," JKNC posted on X.

The Ladakh constituency is scheduled to go for polls on May 20 in the fifth phase of the elections. Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Tashi Gyalson has already filed his nomination papers for Ladakh Lok Sabha seat. May 3 is the last date for filing nominations for Ladakh Lok Sabha seat.

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