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No clear winner in sight in Ladakh

Predicting the outcome of the election in the Ladakh Lok Sabha constituency has never been so difficult.

india Updated: May 12, 2009 01:04 IST
PP Wangchuk

Predicting the outcome of the election in the Ladakh Lok Sabha constituency has never been so difficult. Except the candidates themselves and party leaders, everybody doubts his candidate's chance of winning.

There are four candidates in the fray for the lone seat from Ladakh. While the Congress has fielded veteran Congressman and former MP P. Namgyal, the Ladakh Union Territory Front is backing advocate Thinles Angmo, the lone woman candidate from the region.

There are two candidates from Kargil district. Both are Independents, Ghulam Hassan Khan and Asgar Ali Karbalaie. There was also a third candidate from Kargil, Ghulam Murtaza, fielded by the People’s Democratic Party, who opted out last Wednesday.

Khan, a former MP, and a senior National Conference leader, has the backing of the powerful Islamia school and is contesting as an Independent candidate as he could not get an NC ticket because of its seat-sharing pact with the Congress. Karbalaie has the backing of the Imam Khomeini Memorial Trust that has some influence in the region.

For all practical purposes, the fight is between Namgyal and Khan. Both former MPs, they have strong political bases, but how much Karbalaie from Kargil and Angmo from Leh will be able to cut into each other’s vote banks will determine their winning chances.