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Current Affairs

Demand for change in Ladakh’s current status

Date: 05 July 2021 Tags: Constitution

Issue

Delegation of leaders from Kargil district of the Union territory of Ladakh has met Prime Minister with their demands.

 

Background

The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated and the Union Territory of Ladakh was formed. The meeting follows a similar outreach that took place with Jammu and Kashmir leaders.

 

Details

  • The demands from Leh and Kargil districts have been different. The government has now started paying them attention separately.

  • To address the issue raised by Ladakh, a committee under Minister of State for Home, G Kishan Reddy, will be formed.

 

The demands

  • People of Kargil had opposed their addition to Ladakh and demanded unification with Jammu and Kashmir along with restoration of special rights.

  • The district of Leh has separate demands. It wants the Union Territory status to stay. They believe that their interests were marginalized earlier but now will get an opportunity to prosper.

  • However, Ladakh still wants restoration of legislature. They now have a single representative in form of a Member of Parliament.

  • The bifurcation has made UT of Ladakh without a legislature and powers are given to bureaucracy. They fear of loss of identity if their interests are not upheld.

 

Hill Development councils

  • Kargil and Leh have Autonomous Hill Development Councils. These Hill Councils do not have legislative powers. They have executive powers over lands and power to collect local taxes.

  • Several leaders from Leh have demanded the central government to grant Sixth Schedule Status under Article 224(a) to the UT. 

  • The Sixth schedule is applicable to the states of Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram. The Hill Councils here have legislative powers.

  • The leaders of Kargil do not want Sixth schedule status but rather a full statehood with restoration of special rights under Article 370 and Article 35.

 

Way ahead

A common committee to be set up consisting of leaders from Leh and Kargil for arriving at a common agenda, which will benefit the welfare of the people.