The Ladakh administration announced a holiday on account of elections to the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) in Leh district on Thursday, a senior official said.
“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 said in an order on Wednesday.
He said that a public holiday under Section 25 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 shall be observed within the limits of Leh district on the date of the polling.
A special casual leave shall be granted to the employees, who have to go to other areas for exercising their right to franchise, for which they will demonstrate proof of voting on return, Sahu said.
The polling on Thursday shall also be declared as a paid holiday to every person employed in any business, trade, industrial undertakings or any other establishment entitled to vote, the senior official said.
He said daily wage labourers and casual workers shall also be entitled for the holiday and wages on the poll day.
The stage is set for the 6th Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC)-Leh polls as all arrangements have been put in place for the first democratic exercise post granting of Union Territory status to the region last year.
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, including 26 each of the BJP and Congress.
The election officials said all arrangements are in place and are hopeful of a peaceful polling on Thursday with arrangements including necessary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
He said the polling parties along with security personnel have reached the designated polling stations for the smooth conduct of the voting which will take place from 8 am to 4 pm.
Besides Congress and BJP, the Aam Admi Party (AAP) is also trying its luck for the first time by fielding 19 candidates, while the remaining are 23 independent contestants.
The regional parties including National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have chosen to stay away from the election.
The counting of votes will take place on October 26 and the poll process is expected to be completed by October 30. LAHDC-Leh has a total of 30 seats and four councilors are nominated by the government.
Since the formation of the hill council in 1995, the Congress had swept the polls thrice, while Ladakh Union Territorial Front had won the elections in 2005. BJP wrested control of the council from Congress for the first time in the last elections by winning 18 out of 26 seats.
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