The National Conference and Congress are likely to end up with the support of equal number of councillors in the Kargil council, with NC claiming to have engineered the renewed support of two Independents. The party is now banking on the support of four nominated councillors to win the election of chief executive councillor (CEC).
The Congress along with alliance partner had secured 10 seats while the NC and its ally had won 11 seats. Five Independents were also elected councillors. The Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Kargil has a 26-member house.
A senior NC leader, wishing not to be named, said, "Independent councillor Sayeed Arman has been called by the party at Srinagar on Wednesday. He is likely to assure us his support." The party also claims the support of Independent councillor advocate Ghulam Amir, though the Congress has also made the same claim.
"Even if Ghulam Amir doesn't support us, we are in touch with another Independent who has assured us support," said the NC leader.
The Congress had earlier claimed the support of all five Independents, taking its tally to 15, which is clear majority. Now, with the NC also claiming support of two Independent councillors, both parties will end up with the support of 13 councillors each.
There is a provision to nominate four councillors. The NC says as per the understanding with the Congress in Kargil council, the NC will have choice to nominate councillors as the Congress has nominated its candidates in the Leh council.
"With the support of four nominated councillors, we will elect our own CEC," said an NC leader.
The Congress, however, says nominated councillors don't have the voting rights. However, the NC says the provision for voting rights of nominated councillors do stand even now, though there were talks of scrapping it. But till now no consensus has emerged.
The control over the Kargil council is crucial for the NC as the Congress already has control over the Leh council.
Hill councils in Kagil and Leh districts act like mini-governments and all plans are approved by them. Losing control over the council, especially with the elections approaching, could cost the party dear.