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HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Jammu, September 13, 2013
Uncertainty continues to prevail over the outcome of election of chief executive councillor (CEC) of the Kargil council, which is likely to take place on Monday. The Congress has though publically said it will head the council, it's still skeptical about the role of four councillors nominated by the National Conference.

The councillors of the 26-member Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Kargil will take oath of office on Sunday and election of the CEC is scheduled for Monday.

The Congress had said it had been decided in the co-ordination committee meeting of the coalition partners that its candidate will be elected CEC. The co-ordination committee meeting was held after NC president Farooq Abdullah had said his party will allow the Congress to head the council.

The Congress had won 10 seats while the NC along with its allies had secured 11 seats, though individually the tally on NC had dipped as compared to the last time. Five Independent councillors were also elected and the Congress claims that it has the support of these Independents.

The NC, in a political coup, nominated four councillors from the party, enabling both the parties to have equal number of councillors.

The uncertainty stems from the fact that till now the Independent councillors haven't been given any direction on the pattern of voting.

"Even the NC councillors don't know till now whether these Independent councillors will vote for us or not. The party has not issued any direction," said a senior NC leader.

The Congress has termed the nomination of councillors as illegal and had consistently said they don't have voting rights. But, NC insists they do have voting rights.

"All councillors, including those nominated, will take oath on same day. The nominated councillors do have voting rights but whether they will vote or not is a moot question and party has still not given clear direction," said an NC leader.

Congress candidate for CEC's post Asgar Ali Karbalie said it has been categorically decided that the party will head the council.

The NC had earlier asked the Congress to rule the council in coalition but it was rejected by the Congress.

The Congress already heads the Leh council and as it is likely to rule Kargil council also, it can cost the NC dear in the forthcoming elections, especially the assembly polls due next near. The council plays a major role in development in these two districts as the CEC decides and approves all development plans.