Saturday, Jan 22, 2022

After J&K, Centre Now Invites Ladakh Political Leaders For Talks

‘Our first demand is the restoration of Article 370 & erstwhile J&K state, second demand is full-fledged statehood for Ladakh’, says Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) Co-chairman Asgar Ali Karbali

After J&K, Centre Now Invites Ladakh Political Leaders For Talks

Two days after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and mainstream political parties of Jammu and Kashmir in New Delhi, the Ministry of Home has invited Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) for talks on the Ladakh region.

“We received an invitation for the talks. We are elven parties in the Kargil Democratic Alliance. We have been invited for a meeting with Minister of State for Home GK Reddy and we are going,” Co-chairman of the Kargil Democratic Alliance Asgar Ali Karbali told Outlook. He said the KDA’s first demand would be the restoration of Article 370 and Article 35A.

“If they say the issue is pending before the Supreme Court of India, then we will be asking for full-fledged statehood for Ladakh,” he said.

He said injustice has been done with the region with the dismembering of J&K state and bifurcating J&K into two Union Territories.  He said they would press for the restoration of Article 370 and the erstwhile state of J&K with full force. “And we will also brief the Minister how we are suffering in the Union Territory,” he added.

Karbali said the meeting will be held on July 1 at 11 a.m. with Minister of State for Home GK Reddy.

In October last year with the formation of Kargil Democratic Alliance, a new political force has emerged in Ladakh. The Kargil Democratic Alliance is an amalgam of different political and religious parties of the region based in Kargil.

Earlier in the Leh region of the Ladakh, the apex body of the Peoples Movement for Sixth Schedule, an amalgam of different political and religious organizations of Leh was formed to seek Sixth Schedule for the Ladakh.

On June 23, a day ahead of talks between J&K leaders and the Prime Minister, a joint leadership of the Apex Body including the BJP said they will be demanding separate legislature for the UT of Ladakh and special schedule in the constitution of India for Ladakh.

They said they will be asking for a separate schedule of the Constitution of India for safeguarding the land ownership, job reservation, environmental and cultural preservation, and other common interests of the inhabitants of the Ladakh region.

In 2020 in October, ahead of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Leh polls, prominent political leaders, political parties including the BJP, and religious monks from the region formed the Peoples Movement for Sixth Schedule demanding constitutional safeguards for locals. Later delegation of the People Movement of Ladakh had met Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi. The Ministry had assured the delegation of conceding the demand after the LAHDC polls following which the Peoples Movement withdrew the poll boycott call. At the same time, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced the formation of a committee headed by MoS Home GK Reddy to hold deliberations with Ladakh-based leaders to look into the possibilities of inclusion of Ladakh into the 6th schedule.  The Minister had issued a statement of the meeting.

In the Leh region, people welcomed the revocation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, but soon after they started asking for special status for the UT of Ladakh to preserve demography, land, environment, and culture. In contrast to Leh, protests were held in Kargil against the revocation of Article 370. Political parties in Kargil have been asking for restoration of the erstwhile state of J&K.


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