On the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much-awaited meeting with leaders of Jammu and Kashmir, the Apex Committee of the Peoples’ Movement of Ladakh on Wednesday raised the demand of ‘UT with the legislature’ status.
The panel has raised this demand within days after administration of the Union Territory of Ladakh has reserved jobs for local residents only. The Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA) president and former two-time Lok Sabha member from Ladakh, Thupstan Chhewang said that the Apex Committee has listed the demand for grant of the legislature.
First time after granting the UT status, the Apex Committee-a powerful platform representing various politicians, religious and social organizations, has formally raised the demand of UT with the legislature. The Apex Committee has decided to place this demand before the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
Panel to take Kargil on board to evolve a consensus
As political organizations of Kargil have earlier disassociated from demands raised by the Apex Committee, the panel has decided to take all social, political, and religious groups of Ladakh on the board on this issue.
“Political, religious and social organizations of Kargil will be taken on the board before initiating a dialogue with Union Government”, Chhewang said, adding, “We will approach all groups of Kargil so as to evolve consensus.”
Tsering Namgyal to lead panel for holding talks with Centre
The Apex Committee has decided that BJP’s Lok Sabha member from Ladakh Jamyang Tsering Namgyal will head the joint panel of Kargil and Leh to initiate dialogue with the Union Government for granting legislature status the mountainous region.
Centre has already formed a panel to look into Ladakh issues
On January 6 this year, the Union Government had formed a committee, headed by the Minister of States (MoS) Home G Kishan Reddy to resolve the issues related to the conservation of Ladakhi language, culture, ethnicity, land, jobs, and participation of locals in development projects.
The panel was formed after a 10-member delegation from Ladakh had met Union Home Minister, Amit Shah and expressed their concern with regard to conservation of language, culture, land, and participation of the people in the development process.
The panel constituted by the Centre has elected members from Ladakh, members of the Ladakh Area Hill Development Council, and ex-officio members representing the Centre and the Ladakh administration.
Jobs in Ladakh reserved for locals
To fulfil the aspirations of the people of Ladakh, the administration of the Union Territory has already reserved jobs for the residents of the mountainous region. “No person shall be qualified for appointment to the service unless the person is a resident of the UT of Ladakh” reads the order issued by Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh R.K. Mathur earlier this month.
The move has met a long-pending demand of the people of Ladakh after it was carved out as a Union Territory (UT) after the bifurcation of the erstwhile state of J&K.