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BJP govt has roadmap to meet 'aspirations, expectations' of Ladakh's population: Rijiju

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Leh, May 12 (PTI) The BJP-led government at the Centre has a roadmap to meet the "aspirations and expectations" of the people of Ladakh, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Sunday.

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He also sought support of the electorate for BJP candidate Tashi Gyalson for continuation of dialogue to address issues such as grant of Sixth Schedule to the region.

Rijiju was speaking to reporters in Zanskar after addressing an election rally. He also held separate meetings with local groups, including religious leaders.

He became the first Union minister to drive on the Nimmu-Padum-Darch Road and could be seen in a viral video pushing his vehicle along with others after it briefly got stuck due to a technical snag.

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"I have come here with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's guarantee that all your demands will be met in the next five years. We have prepared a roadmap and we are promise-bound to fulfil all your demands. This is my message to the people of Ladakh," the Union minister said.

He referred to the four-point agenda of the Leh Apex Body and the Kargil Democratic Alliance that are jointly spearheading the ongoing agitation and said "the way forward is dialogue and we have a roadmap for the future of Ladakh".

Asked about the demand for extension of Sixth Schedule to the region, Rijiju said the BJP is committed to address all demands of the people of Ladakh.

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"We are committed to meet the aspirations and expectations of the people of Ladakh. We have solutions to every issue, whether related to the Sixth Schedule or something else. The central government has the roadmap but the people need to come forward and ensure victory for our candidate for smooth progress of the dialogue and development work," he said.

The Union minister said Gylson's win is directly linked to the future of Ladakh.

"If someone else is elected from here, Ladakh will be at a loss. We have granted Union Territory status to the region and we are committed to address all other pending demands," he said, adding those who were opposing Union Territory status for Ladakh have no right to talk about it.

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Gyalson, chief executive councillor-cum-chairman of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (Leh), sought support of the people and said, once elected, his primary focus will be resumption of dialogue between Ladakh representatives and the Centre for resolution of the four-point agenda, which includes statehood and Sixth Schedule of the constitution for the region.

"I have full faith in the leadership of the BJP. If I am not able to fulfil my political resolution, I will submit my resignation," he declared.

Gyalson said he wants to take the four-point agenda to a logical conclusion with better outcomes for the people of Ladakh.

Referring to the long-standing demand for district status by the residents of Zanskar, he said it is a fact that the region has an extreme geographical terrain and decentralisation of power is imperative for good governance.

"Setting up new administrative units is imperative and we will work in this direction," he added. PTI TAS TAS SZM

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