MCs to be upgraded from 13 to 17 Wards
Delimitation exercise for Panchayats soon
Jammu, Nov 4:
The Union Territory of Ladakh has decided to upgrade Municipalities of Leh and Kargil from 13 to 17 Wards while number of Panchayats is also expected to go up from 193 in the delimitation as the term of both the Local Bodies will expire in the absence of elections which will now be held next summer.
Official sources confirmed to the Excelsior that terms of Leh and Kargil Municipalities, the only two Urban Local Bodies in the Union Territory of Ladakh, will expire this month followed by 193 Panchayats—98 in Kargil and 95 in Leh.
Elections for the two bodies were due in October-November this year but were deferred due to Kargil Hill Development Council polls followed by delimitation exercise for Municipalities and onset of winter season.
The UT Administration of Ladakh has ordered delimitation exercise for Leh and Kargil Municipalities and number of their Wards are expected to go up from 13 to 17.
“Number of Wards are likely to be increased as more population has come up in surrounding of both Leh and Kargil Municipalities from rural areas,” the officials said, adding that for increasing number of the Wards a high-level committee has already been set up by the UT administration.
Officials said delimitation of Panchayat Wards may also be ordered by the UT administration. This may also result in increase in number of Panchayats in the Union Territory.
The delimitation exercise will, however, lead to delay in conduct of Municipal and Panchayat elections in Ladakh, like the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Harsh winter will set in Ladakh in next few days and weather generally opens up in April when Parliamentary elections are due. As per the officials, Municipal and Panchayat elections in Ladakh will either be held with Lok Sabha polls or after that in June-July.
“Five year term of Municipalities and Panchayats in the UT will end in next few days as elections to them were held in October-December 2018 when Ladakh was part of erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir,” the officials said.
In Jammu and Kashmir also, terms of all Urban Local Bodies will end this year while that of Panchayats will expire on January 9, 2024. Elections to these two bodies were delayed in Jammu and Kashmir due to grant of reservation to Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and rectifying discrimination in electorates of different wards to Municipal bodies.
Number of Municipalities in Ladakh is confined to two as Leh and Kargil districts have Autonomous Hill Development Councils with 30 seats each, 26 of which are elected and four nominated.
Ladakh has lone Lok Sabha seat which is represented by the BJP presently.
Autonomous Hill Development Council is ruled by the BJP with majority while Kargil Council was recently formed by National Conference and Congress jointly.
However, in Hill Development Council Kargil elections, NC won 12 seats followed by Congress 10, BJP and Independents two each. The UT of Ladakh administration is yet to nominate four Councillors to the Hill Council which will take the BJP strength to six.
NC and Congress had entered into post-poll alliance before the elections though they contested the polls against each other on most of the seats.(By Daily Excelsior )