The voting for the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh has begun across the district on Thursday amid tension on the Line of Actual Control.
Reports said that low to moderate voting was on in the first two hours which began at 8 am today. The polling today is the first democratic exercise post granting of Union Territory status to the region last year.
Officials said there were adequate security arrangements made ahead of polling and the measures were taken to ensure smooth voting.
A senior officer said that the Ladakh administration has announced a holiday in Leh district on Thursday due to polls.
“It is hereby ordered that a public holiday shall be observed within the limits of Leh district on account of 6th LAHDC election on the date of poll, as fixed on 22nd October", Commissioner-Secretary, General Administration Department, Ladakh, Ajeet Kumar Sahu had said in an order on Wednesday.
As many as 94 candidates are in fray which includes 26 each from BJP and Congress 19 from Aam Admi Party and 23 independents. An electorate of 89,776, including 45,025 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise in 294 polling stations spread over 26 constituencies across Leh district to seal the fate of 94 candidates.
The Ladakh leadership had earlier threatened to boycott the hills council polls if the central government did not guarantee safeguard to its land, jobs and culture and language following last year’s repeal of article 370 and 35A.
The leadership had demanded extension of sixth schedule in the Ladakh region to protect the same. Following this, the BJP government had sent emissaries to placate the leaders of Ladakh. A meeting between Home Minister Amit Shah and leaders later ensured the polls were held. Following the talks, the polls were successfully held today.