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BJP wins election to Leh council

Srinagar, Oct. 24: The BJP has won the polls to the autonomous hill development council in Leh, in the party's first major test since forming the coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir in March this year.

The party won 18 of the 26 elected seats, reducing the Congress to just five seats - 16 fewer than last time.

The opposition National Conference, which contested eight seats, won two. It had none last time. One seat was won by an Independent.

Around 90 candidates, including five women, had fought the polls. While the Congress had contested 25 seats, the BJP had fielded candidates in 24. Chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's PDP had contested eight seats.

The New Ladakh Movement, which fought the elections for the first time, had fielded 15 candidates.

"It is a huge victory for us," BJP legislator Ravinder Raina said. "You will see in the coming years the Congress will be wiped out in the municipal and panchayat polls."

Raina, MLA from Nowshera, Jammu, who heads the party's youth wing, credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Mufti for the victory.

The Congress had won both the Assembly seats in Leh in the elections last December and lost the parliamentary seat of Ladakh by less than a hundred votes.


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