Ladakh rulers raise issue of House of Elect after J&K meeting | Latest India News

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New Delhi: It has been 22 months since their long-standing request for a designation of a separate Union territory was met, and as the Union government and parties active in Jammu and Kashmir strive To reestablish the political process in J&K UT, some Ladakh leaders have also raised a demand for an elected legislature.

After the split of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019, J&K and Ladakh were designated as UT, but if the former has an assembly, the latter does not. The stated position of the Union government is that the statehood of J&K will be restored when the time comes.

Former BJP MP Thupstan Chhewang said at a meeting of representatives of political, social and religious organizations held on Wednesday under the auspices of an umbrella body, it was decided to contact the Union government with its request for a legislature. The meeting was also attended by BJP MP from Ladakh, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal.

“We demanded guarantees for the protection of our lands, our jobs, our environment, our culture and our language which existed before the formation of the UT, but the Center did not respond to any of these requests. despite assurances, “Chhewang said on the phone from Ladakh. .

Namgyal was not available for comment on the matter.

Chhewang said during the last meeting in January with Home Secretary Amit Shah that the Ladakh delegation was assured that a committee would be formed under the chairmanship of Home Secretary G Kishan. Reddy to address local concerns for the protection of rights under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution within two months.

A panel of names for the committee, including representatives from Kargil and Leh divisions, and autonomous hill development councils was also sent to the center, he said.

“We understand that the Covid and assembly elections took the government’s time, but our request was primarily either for protection under the Sixth Schedule or a separate annex to the Constitution to protect the interests of residents of Ladakh in matters of land ownership, job reservation, environmental protection, preservation of culture and language, ”he declared. There have been concerns in UT that with undefined domicile rules, land and government jobs will be available to outsiders depriving residents, a large percentage of whom are List tribes.

The demand for a legislature, he added, was raised because the center did not “offer protection” to the population by reserving jobs and guaranteeing land rights. “They have completely undermined the self-governing hill district councils that are elected by the people and any power they had is usurped by the UT bureaucrats.”

Ladakh has two autonomous district councils which have the mandate to decide on matters such as economic development, health care, education, land use, taxation and local governance.

In accordance with the provisions of the Sixth Schedule, self-governing development councils can make laws on land, public health and agriculture to protect the tribal population and ensure self-reliance. These laws, however, require the approval of the Lieutenant Governor.

Pawan Raina, Special Duty Officer (OSD) in Ladakh LG, RK Mathur did not respond to calls.

“In the absence of elected officials, the administration took over. And as the Kashmiri leadership has said, bureaucracy is no substitute for a democratically elected administration. What is happening in Ladakh is that the representatives of the people have nothing to say, ”Chhewang said.

The former MP also said there had been little development and employment in UT over the past 22 months. “Not a single recruitment campaign has been carried out. The law on domicile has not been framed, ”he said.

However, the application of the umbrella body will also need to be approved by the Kargil division. So, he will now reach out to the leaders of Kargil’s division to support their demand for a legislature. The leaders of Kargil have called for the restoration of Article 370 and statehood.

“There is a demand in the Kargil region for them to be merged with J&K as they have more in common with Kashmir, including the language than Leh,” said a J&K executive, who asked not to to be named.

Chhewang, however, said the Apex Body would appeal to the leaders of the Kargil region in the coming days to form a consensus on the issue.

BJP National Secretary General Tarun Chugh, who is in charge of UT, said: “The BJP is committed to protecting the rights of tribal people in Ladakh. We will ensure that their languages, customs, traditions and ecology are all protected. “

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