The National Conference-Congress alliance on Sunday won the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council-Kargil elections by bagging 22 seats, reported The Hindu.

While the National Conference won 12 seats, Congress managed to get 10. The Bharatiya Janata Party secured only two seats and one went to an Independent candidate.

This was the first election in Kargil since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019. The move had stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.

The Kargil hill council has 30 seats. Elections are held on 26 seats, while four members are nominated by the Union Territory administration. The outgoing council headed by the National Conference leader Feroz Ahmad Khan completed its five-year term on October 1. The new council will have to be in place before October 11.

Also read: In first elections in Kargil since 2019, ‘partition’ from Jammu and Kashmir on voters’ mind

The Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council elections in Kargil have traditionally been a battle between National Conference and Congress. In the 2018 hill council elections, National Conference emerged as a single largest party, winning 10 seats, followed by the Congress with eight seats. In 2013, Congress had 10 seats followed by the National Conference with eight seats.

Impact of Bharat Jodo Yatra

The Congress on Sunday said that the party winning several seats in the council is a direct impact of the Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Rahul Gandhi.

“The national media will blank it out, but trends coming in show Congress leading convincingly in the elections to the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Kargil with an almost complete wipeout of the BJP,” party leader Jairam Ramesh wrote on X on Sunday.

Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal said that Gandhi’s visit to Ladakh instilled faith in the residents.

Gandhi started the Bharat Jodo Yatra, or Unite India March, from Kanyakumari on September 7 last year and covered over 3,000 kilometres before concluding it in Srinagar on January 30. He visited Ladakh in August this year. The Congress had said that the visit was a continuation of the march.