SRINAGAR: The National Conference and Congress leadership are set to meet in Kargil within the next few days to finalise the formation of the next City Government, The Excelsior reported. They emerged victorious in a joint effort, securing 22 out of the 26 seats in the elections held on October 4, with NC winning 12 seats and Congress securing 10.
Leaders from both parties disclosed that they will commence with separate meetings involving their respective leaders and elected Councillors. Subsequently, a joint meeting is planned, which may span three to four days, as the newly elected representatives are currently in their constituencies expressing gratitude to their constituents.
Both parties have reportedly agreed to evenly distribute four posts of Executive Councillors, which hold the status of Ministers and oversee various departments. Regarding the post of Chairman-cum-Chief Executive Councillor of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Kargil, there is a likelihood of reaching a consensus on a rotational arrangement, with each party holding the position for two and a half years, given the Council’s five-year term.
The question remains as to which party will assume the Chairman’s post first, though insiders express confidence that this issue will be amicably resolved. The National Conference is inclined to stake its claim to the Chairman-cum-CEC position for the initial two and a half years, citing its status as the largest single party with 12 seats, compared to Congress’s 10. However, leaders from both parties anticipate a harmonious resolution during the senior leadership meeting.
The Chairman-cum-CEC holds the rank of a State Cabinet Minister, while Executive Councillors hold the rank of Deputy State Ministers. Feroz Khan, a National Conference leader who previously held the Chairman-cum-CEC position with Congress and Independent support, has been re-elected from the Silmoo constituency and is a strong contender for the post.
The process begins with the Deputy Commissioner of Kargil, serving as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Council, convening the Council meeting, where all newly elected members take their oaths. Following this, the Chairman-cum-CEC is elected either unanimously or through a vote.
The BJP’s UT President for Ladakh, Phunchok Stanzin, mentioned that while their party secured two seats, they lost four others by a narrow margin. Stanzin expressed a wait-and-see approach regarding the outcome of negotiations between the National Conference and Congress, emphasizing the BJP’s commitment to addressing the people’s issues and fostering district development within the Council.
Despite winning two seats, the BJP’s representation in the Council will increase to six, as the Union Territory Administration of Ladakh is expected to nominate four Councillors in the LAHDC Kargil with voting rights. Additionally, two Independents secured seats in the Council. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which contested four seats, failed to secure any, and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) did not field any candidates in the elections.
In the outgoing Council, the National Conference had 10 seats, Congress had eight, PDP had two, BJP had one, and Independents had five. However, two PDP Councillors later joined the BJP.