» Election » Independent Ladakh MP boosts UPA tally

Independent Ladakh MP boosts UPA tally

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
May 19, 2009 12:00 IST
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Ghulam Hassan Khan, independent Member of Parliament from Ladakh, on Tuesday extended unconditional support to the UPA.

He also clarified that he had not re-joined the ruling National Conference. The U-turn came a day after Khan addressed a press conference with National Conference chief Dr Farooq Abdullah and J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah during which he had announced his decision to re-join the party.

In a statement, Khan said: 'I want to clarify that I have not joined any political party and continue to maintain my independent status. However, I extend my unconditional support to the UPA coalition."

Khan's support to UPA has taken its total tally to 263 in the newly-elected Lok Sabha.

'On the persuasion of Dr Farooq Abdullah, I agreed to support the NC and the UPA for the welfare and uplift of the backward districts of Leh and Kargil,' he said.

Media reports attribute Khan's denial as a result of the Congress high command's reservations on NC welcoming a rebel, who had fought and won the seat against a Congress candidate, back to its fold.

Khan had defeated the Buddhist ruling Congress NC combine candidate, P.Namgyal by nearly four thousand votes.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar