Kashmir Indepth

Pressure builds on BJP leadership to end Ladakh crisis

Ishtiyaq Ahmad

SRINAGAR, Sep 26: Pressure is building on the BJP leadership from the party’s Leh unit to defuse crisis in Ladakh.

All political and religious bodies in the Buddhist-dominated Leh district of the newly carved out union territory of Ladakh have unanimously decided against participating in the upcoming hill council elections over their demand for bringing the region under the ambit of provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

The groups are demanding constitutional safeguards to protect the region’s demography, land and jobs. The development, coincidentally, comes at a time when Ladakh has gained global attention due to skirmishes and a face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in the region.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is also a signatory to the declaration announcing a boycott of the elections to the district’s highest elected body.

The demand including from BJP’s Leh unit has build a pressure on the party’s high command.

A BJP leader from Ladakh told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS) that party’s Leh unit has asked New Delhi to fulfill the demands.

“New Delhi has told a Union Minister Kiren Rijju to hold talks with leaders of Ladakh to end crisis. All parties are adamant in their demand for 6th Schedule for Ladakh. We all have unanimously decided to boycott the ensuing 6th LADHC Leh election till such time the constitutional safeguard under 6th schedule on the line of Bodo Territorial Council is not extended to Ladakh and its people,” the BJP leader said.

“Pressure is mounting on the party leadership to end the crisis at the earliest,” the leader said.

Senior BJP leader, Ram Madhav was camping in Leh for two days to take the stock of the situation. Sources said Madhav will give his feedback to the party leadership over the ongoing crisis in Ladakh. “We expect some breakthrough in few days,” he added.

The Sixth Schedule consists of provisions for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram for the preservation of land rights, socio-cultural and ethnic identity of natives.

In September last year, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) wrote to home minister Amit Shah, recommending that Ladakh be declared a tribal area under the Sixth Schedule.

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