Congress leaders
Congress leaders from J&K and Ladakh attending meeting at DelhiCongress media cell

Although the Congress high command is trying to evolve a formula to accommodate the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the seat-sharing discussion by surrendering the Ladakh Lok Sabha seat to the National Conference, the Leh unit of the party is opposing any such proposal.

The Congress is evolving this mechanism to ensure unity among the constituents of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc in both the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.

According to sources, senior leaders from the Leh division of the Congress have communicated to the party's high command their strong opposition to the idea of conceding the Ladakh Lok Sabha seat to the National Conference. They argue that such a decision would be detrimental to the party's prospects in the region.

"The Leh unit of the Congress is firmly against any such arrangement. Local party leaders are concerned that relinquishing the Ladakh seat would provide an advantage to the BJP in areas dominated by the Buddhist community, where the Saffron Party is the primary contender against the Congress," revealed a source.

Leh Congress leaders are opposing this formula keeping in the next elections of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Leh.

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Cong trying to accommodate PDP in seat-sharing

Reports said that some central leaders of the Congress are trying to convince the National Conference to leave the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat for the PDP to avoid a friendly contest among constituents of the INDIA bloc in Jammu and Kashmir.

"If the National Conference decides to cede the Anantnag-Rajouri Parliamentary seat to the PDP, the Congress is prepared to relinquish its stake in the Ladakh seat," disclosed a source, adding, "This decision underscores the Congress's commitment to fostering unity among opposition parties, even if it means sacrificing its own interests".

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is a force in most parts of Kashmir Valley and in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu province so Congress leadership is trying to accommodate PDP in the alliance.

BJP won Ladakh seat in two successive elections

For the BJP Ladakh Parliamentary constituency is prestigious for the party because the coming Lok Sabha elections will be a referendum after the abrogation of Article 370 and granting Union Territory status to the Ladakh.

Although local levels of elections were held after the abrogation of Article 370 and granting UT status to Ladakh, this will be the first Lok Sabha elections in Ladakh.

The BJP, which was never a force in the cold desert, has won two successive elections of the Ladakh Parliamentary seat.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha election veteran politician of Ladakh Thupstan Chhewang had won this seat as BJP candidate by a margin of only 36 votes. Earlier in 2004, Chhewang had won this seat as an Independent candidate.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections the BJP candidate Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, who was then sitting Chairman-cum-CEC of LAHDC Leh recorded an impressive victory margin of 10,930 votes over NC, PDP, and Islamiya School Kargil joint candidate, Sajjad Kargili. Namgayal polled 42,914 votes as against Sajjad Karigili's 31984.

Two other candidates in the fray in Ladakh were Haji Asgar Karbalaie, former Congress MLA from Kargil, and Rigzin Spalbar (Congress) finished third and fourth with 29365 and 21241 votes respectively. Karbalaie had contested the election as an Independent