BJP-led Leh Chapter Delivers A Shocker, Passes Resolutions For Constitutional Safeguards

Regional parties claim the LAHDC-Leh is misrepresenting the aspirations of the people of Ladakh with these resolutions

Aerial view of Leh

In a landmark move, the BJP-led Leh chapter of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council passed two resolutions on Wednesday after daylong deliberations seeking constitutional safeguards.

A special session of the general council meeting of LAHDC-Leh was conducted on Wednesday under Chairman LAHDC-Leh, Tashi Gyalson. After a threadbare discussion, two resolutions were moved in the House: the first one pressed for Constitutional safeguards in Ladakh under a suitable provision of the Indian Constitution and the second one sought constitutional protection along the lines of the 6th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

The speakers sought safeguards for the protection of land, employment, socio-economy, culture, environment, and trade. CEC Gyalson said he hoped that the Union government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah would take a significant decision in the interest of the people of Ladakh in this regard.

“The resolution passed on constitutional safeguard for Ladakh, especially on land, jobs, trade, culture, and environment, is significant as Ladakh has a fragile ecosystem and unique cultural identity with some rare races like Aryan,” Gyalson told Outlook.

Climate change has also had a severe impact on Ladakh, noted Gyalson. “Our climate pattern has changed over the years and glacier are melting at a rapid pace leading to scarcity of water for drinking and agriculture leading to migration,” Gyalson explained.

For the past two years, the Leh Apex Body and Kargil Democratic Alliance, an amalgam of different political groupings of the region, have been seeking statehood for Ladakh, with constitutional safeguards on the lines of the 6th schedule to safeguard the demography, environment, and unique culture of Ladakh. They also sought two Lok Sabha seats for the region, a Rajya Sabha seat, and a filling up of 10,000 to 12,000 vacancies to overcome unemployment in the region.

After the abrogation of Article 370 that gave Ladakh a Union Territory status, many hoped Ladakh’s political problems would now end. But its regional political parties are yet to receive any political benefit, and continue to demand the implementation of the four-point agenda. Kargil Democratic Alliance leader Sajad Kargili claimed that the BJP-led LAHDC is misrepresenting the aspirations of the people of Ladakh with these resolutions. “Despite huge pressure from the Centre, the ruling party in LAHDC-Leh passed a resolution on constitutional safeguards, but refrained to mention the sixth schedule,” he said.

“If they (LAHDC-Leh) are serious about the aspirations of the people of Ladakh, they should have passed the resolution categorically specifying the sixth schedule. The BJP-led LAHDC-Leh is not ready to discuss the sixth schedule. The opposition and the apex body have already told them that if there is any flaw in the sixth schedule then call a special session to thread bear discussion the sixth schedule,” he added.