Staff flown for Ladakh hill council polls

Srinagar, Oct 15 (IANS) Polling staff was flown on Thursday for six far-flung polling centres of Ladakh where voters will elect a hill development council on Saturday.

The six centres are Youlchang, Depling, Neraks, Fotoskar, Lingshet and Skumpata, an official told IANS on phone from Leh town.

Staff for another 100 polling stations will leave by road.

National Conference president and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah is campaigning for his candidates in Ladakh.

Omar said on Thursday: “It is great to see (party) flags all over Leh town. Nice to be back campaigning, and Ladakh looks gorgeous in autumn.”

There are 30 members in the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), of whom 26 are elected and four are nominated. The council is headed by a chief executive councillor.

The main contest is likely to be between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party have also fielded candidates.

The BJP and the Congress are contesting all 26 seats.

Rigzin Spalbar of the Congress is the chief executive councillor of the outgoing LAHDC. A majority of councillors in the outgoing council belonged to the Congress.

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