In a major political development ahead of the counting of votes on May 23, three of the four candidates from the Ladakh parliamentary constituency on Monday jointly wrote to the J&K Chief Electoral Officer, demanding repolling in the Zanskar subdivision of the region.
Congress nominee Rigzin Spalbar and two Independents — Haji Asgar Ali Karbalai, who is a Congress rebel, and Sajjad Hussain Kargili, who has been backed by the National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party and the influential Islamia School Kargil — have alleged malpractices at all polling stations in the Zanskar Assembly segment.
Four candidates, including Jamyang Tsering Namgyal of the BJP, were in the fray for the Ladakh seat, which went to the polls in the fifth phase of elections on May 6.
Without naming anyone, the candidates alleged that they had provided documentary evidence regarding “blatant violation of the model code of conduct” during the polling and “malpractices committed with utter disregard” to the democratic practice or norms.
“We were expecting a favourable consideration of our case based on facts. There has been no positive response till now. The use of religious persecution to garner votes through intimidation is not only unconstitutional but has also diluted the spirit of democracy in a scale not witnessed by the peace loving people of Ladakh ever in the past. The media bribery case also aggravates the foundations of the democratic edifice,” they wrote in the letter, which was also sent to the Election Commission of India and the Returning Officer for the Ladakh seat.
The Election Commission had set up 54 polling stations in Zanskar, which witnessed 81.98 per cent voting. Of the total 22,325 votes, 18,303 were polled in Zanskar.
“The BJP has rigged the elections through 8,000 bogus votes in Zanskar which shall certainly give it a lead. It was all pre-planned by the BJP and we had time and again brought it to the notice of the authorities,” Spalbar said.
The candidates urged that their demand for a repoll be considered on the basis of their complaints “to ensure transparency and sanctity of the electoral process” under Article 324 of the Constitution.
Earlier, they had approached the polling governing authority individually against the alleged violation of the model code of conduct in Zanskar.
The All India Congress Committee had also lodged a complaint on May 9 against the violation of the model code of conduct in Zanskar and had demanded a repoll there.
Congress nominee Rigzin Spalbar and two Independents — Haji Asgar Ali Karbalai and Sajjad Hussain Kargili — have alleged malpractices at all polling stations in the Zanskar Assembly segment of Ladakh
The Election Commission had set up 54 polling stations in Zanskar, which witnessed 81.98 per cent voting. Of the total 22,325 votes, 18,303 were polled in Zanskar