Lok Sabha polls: BJP announces new candidate for Ladakh - Hindustan Times
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Lok Sabha polls: BJP announces new candidate for Ladakh

Apr 23, 2024 03:52 PM IST

An advocate, Gyalson, is a councilor from Lingshed constituency and in 2020 was elected as chairman & chief executive councilor of the 6th Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday announced Tashi Gyalson, a former party general secretary of the Ladakh unit, as its candidate from the union territory, replacing the incumbent lawmaker Jamyang Tsering Namgyal.

Tashi Gyalson joined the BJP after the BJP-PDP coalition government in the erstwhile state of J&k collapsed. (@tashi_gyalson)
Tashi Gyalson joined the BJP after the BJP-PDP coalition government in the erstwhile state of J&k collapsed. (@tashi_gyalson)

Ladakh will go to polls on May 20.

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An advocate, Gyalson, is a councilor from Lingshed constituency and in 2020 was elected as chairman and chief executive councilor of the 6th Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, (LAHDC), Leh.

He joined the BJP after the BJP-PDP coalition government in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir collapsed. He was then a member of the PDP.

“Shortly after joining the BJP, he was made the party’s general secretary...he is an astute politician,” said a functionary.

Also Read: Will extend support to Apex Body of People’s Movement: LAHDC executive councillor

The nomination has, however, upset a section of party leaders who are backing Namgyal. According to the party functionary quoted above, some leaders in the Ladakh unit are contemplating resignation from the BJP.

“There is a section of leaders who see Tashi as a recent inductee in the BJP and feel Namgyal should contest as an independent,” the functionary said.

A second functionary added that the party is facing “resentment” on the ground in the Kargil division and changing the candidate is “unlikely to help” the BJP retain the seat. “There is a sentiment against the party in both Kargil and Leh; but getting support will be more difficult in the Kargil division. The Congress has an edge, but if Namgyal were to contest as an independent, then it will hurt the BJP more,” the second functionary said.

Namgyal did not respond to messages.

The BJP, which won the Ladakh Lok Sabha seat in 2014 and 2019, is on a sticky wicket in the UT following widespread protest over the demand for the implementation of the Sixth Schedule. A section of residents and political outfits have been demanding laws to protect the land, language and jobs in the ecologically and strategically sensitive area.

At present, Ladakh has two autonomous district councils that have the mandate to take decisions regarding economic development, healthcare, education, land use, taxation, and local governance. Residents, however, are pushing for the Sixth Schedule, under Article 244 which allows autonomous development councils to frame laws on land, public health, and agriculture to protect the tribal population and provide autonomy.

There is also a demand for restoration of statehood with an assembly.

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