Ladakh MP and Bharatiya Janata Party member Jamyang Tsering Namgyal on Wednesday rallied his supporters for a show of strength a day after the party decided to bench him and nominate Tashi Gyalson as its candidate for the Lok Sabha elections, reported The Hindu.

“My supporters have assembled spontaneously in Leh today,” Namgyal was quoted as saying by the newspaper. “They are not happy with the nomination. With such a reaction, the big question remains if the party can retain the seat.”

A day earlier, the party announced the name of Gyalson, the chairman-cum-chief executive councillor of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council in Leh, as its candidate for the Ladakh Lok Sabha seat.

Gyalson was elected to his post in the council in 2020 after the BJP’s victory on 15 out of 26 seats.

Namgyal on Wednesday recalled the hill council elections and said the BJP performed well in the polls in Kargil. “I think I did contribute to the glory of the party in Ladakh,” he said.

The MP said the move to replace him was injustice meted out to a party worker, reported PTI. He said he had communicated his disagreement to the party leadership.

“I did ask the party if I had performed poorly in Parliament, violated the party stand, misbehaved or faced corruption charges,” said Namgyal. “It was an unexpected decision for me.”

He said while he was currently “with the party and believed in its ideology”, he would sit with his supporters “and a final decision will be taken”.

“I will consider the sentiments of my supporters and take a collective decision for the interests of Ladakh,” said the MP. “People are not ready to accept the nomination.”

The Union Territory of Ladakh has one Lok Sabha seat. This is the first general election in the country 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 of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Namgyal had made headlines after the abrogation of Article 370 for his speech in Parliament defending the BJP-led Centre’s moves.

“Today is that day in Indian history when the mistakes made by the Congress under the leadership of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru are being rectified,” the MP had said. “In 1948, the president of the Ladakh Buddhist Association had requested Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to either bring Ladakh directly under central administration or make it a part of East Punjab, but under no condition keep Ladakh with Kashmir.”

He said the government at the time had not heeded the demands and “because we are under Kashmir, till date Ladakh has not been developed”.

His speech was praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior leaders of the BJP.