Ladakh LG RK Mathur Leaves Ladakh Quietly, Departure Fails To Pacify Ladakhis

Ladakhi leaders have said that they don’t have issues with individuals and RK Mathur’s departure will not change anything. They said the change in policy will matter, not the change of individuals holding office.

Former Ladakh Lieutenant Governor RK Mathur

Ladakh Lieutenant Governor Radha Krishna Mathur quietly left the region on Saturday. However, there is no elation in Ladakh over his removal even days ahead of the Chalo Delhi call by the Leh Apex Body (LAB) and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA).  The political parties in Ladakh say the change of the governor does not impact anything.

“We are not against individuals. The changing of individuals will not impact anything. The government should change its policy. That is more important,” says senior KDA leader Sajad Kargili. 

Kargili told Outlook that as long as individual heads are pro-people, it doesn’t impact anything but what makes a difference is when the government shifts its policy.

He said, “We are not seeing any policy shift towards Ladakh from the Central government. The government should listen to our demands and change its policy.”

Mathur was the first Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh after the region was separated from Jammu and Kashmir and following the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019. The erstwhile J&K state was bifurcated into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.

Mathur left for New Delhi on Saturday after briefing his staff. He has been shifted from the UT after serving in Ladakh for three years and four months. The LGs, like the Governors, have five-year tenure.

Since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, and the bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh UT only had one Lt Governor. During this time, Ladakh has seen many political agitations for the inclusion of the region into the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India. The latest agitation was on Republic Day this year Ladakhi icon Sonam Wangchuk observed a five-day climate fast for Ladakh’s inclusion of the Sixth Schedule. 

At the end of the fast, Wangchuk said, “We had asked UT with the legislature. We didn’t ask UT without a legislature. Some people are now asking for statehood. Why not? Why should there be permanent Governor’s Rule in Ladakh.”