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LEH — The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday retained power in the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh by winning 15 out of 26 seats for which polling took place last week.

According to details available here, the BJP bagged 15 seats while Congress and independents walked away respectively with nine and two seats.

This was the first Hill Council election held after granting of Union Territory status to Ladakh by Central government on August 5, 2019.

In the last Hill Council Leh election held in 2015, BJP had secured 18 seats while Congress bagged just five seats. Two seats were won by National Conference and one went into kitty of an independent candidate.

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The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of Arvind Kejriwal, which was fighting its maiden election in Ladakh this time, failed to open its account. Both National Conference and PDP did not contest the election.

In the 30-member Hill council, elections are held only for 26 seats while government nominates members for remaining four seats.

As per results, BJP won Turtuk, Hundar, Diksit, Tegar, Panamik, Tangste, Kungyam, Korzok, Martselag, Thiksay, Chuchot, Sku Markha, Khalsti, Lamayuru and Lingshet.

On the other, Congress secured victory from Sakti, Igoo, Upper Leh, Lower Leh, Phyang, Basgo, Sapsol, Temisgam and Skurbuchan.

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The independents managed to win Chushul and Nyoma seats.

The biggest setback to BJP came from Sakti segment with its outgoing Chief Executive Councillor Gyal P. Wangyal losing from there.

The Congress won the seat by defeating Aam Aadmi Party by narrow margin of 20 seats. This was the only seat where AAP, which had fielded 19 candidates, was runner-up.

It is worthwhile to mention here that four Central ministers – Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Kiren Rijiju, Anurag Thakur and G. Kishan Reddy – campaigned for BJP candidates in the district where only 89,000 persons had voting rights.

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