Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said that the results from the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development-Kargil elections have indicated a clear sentiment of dissatisfaction with the decision made on August 5, which led to the revocation of the semi-autonomous status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The results prove that Kargil has not liked the decision of August 5 as did Kashmir and Jammu,” the former chief minister said addressing a press conference in Srinagar. “Despite initial jubilation, the populace has become increasingly disillusioned with the unilateral decision by the Centre, leading to protests and political repercussions.”

The Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC)-Kargil elections witnessed a sweeping victory by the National Conference (NC)-Congress alliance. The alliance secured an impressive 22 out of the 26 seats.

The elections assumed particular significance as they were the first major electoral event in Kargil following the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, and the bifurcation of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state into two federally administered Union Territories.

On Sunday, former union home minister and senior congress leader P Chidambaram said that the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Kargil, (the) result is a resounding victory for I.N.D.I.A. and a crushing defeat for the BJP.

“The results show that the people have totally repudiated the misguided agenda of the BJP, the revocation of Art. 370 and the creation of Union Territories out of a State. If elections are held in the Kashmir valley the results will not be different,” Chidambaram posted on X.

Earlier in a post on X, Abdullah said that the BJP was dealt a resounding defeat. “In celebration of our strong alliance with the Congress party, the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference is delighted to announce its victory in the LAHDC Kargil elections. This result sends a message to all forces and parties that have, undemocratically and unconstitutionally, divided the state of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh without the consent of its people.”

Also read: NC-Congress alliance sweeps LAHDC-Kargil elections; BJP wins 2

“This victory belongs to the people of Zanskar, Kargil, and Drass, who have decisively endorsed the National Conference-Congress alliance. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to all the elected councillors, recognizing their dedication to serving the people. We also extend our gratitude to the leadership of the Congress party for their unwavering support.

“These election results should serve as a wake-up call for the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is time to cease hiding behind the Raj Bhawan and unelected representatives and, instead, acknowledge the people`s rightful desire for a democratically elected government in Jammu and Kashmir. Democracy demands the voices of the people be heard and respected.

“We also take this opportunity to extend our sincere appreciation to our dedicated party workers who toiled day and night, persevering through challenging conditions, to ensure that on the day of reckoning, the JKNC flag would soar high.

“JKNC remains committed to the principles of democracy, justice, and unity, working tirelessly to uphold the rights and aspirations of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. #HalHiHalHai.”

Reacting to the victory, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh noted, “The national media may not have given it much attention, but the trends clearly show Congress leading convincingly in the LAHDC-Kargil elections, with the BJP facing a near-complete wipeout. This victory is seen as a direct result of Rahul Gandhi`s recent visit to Ladakh as part of his `Bharat Jodo Yatra` last month.”

Mehbooba Mufti, the chief of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), congratulated the National Conference and Congress for their “victory” in Kargil. She emphasized the significance of the secular parties` success in the first elections held in Ladakh post-2019.

The counting of votes in the LAHDC elections was conducted under stringent security measures, and a substantial 65&#37 voter turnout was recorded in the Kargil district during the fifth LAHDC elections.

The newly elected council members are set to assume their positions before October 11, and they will be entrusted with the responsibility of addressing the developmental needs and aspirations of the region`s residents.

Last month, the Ladakh administration rescheduled the elections for the fifth LAHDC in Kargil following a directive from the Supreme Court, further underscoring the importance of these elections in the region`s political landscape. (With inputs from agencies)

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