Govt, Ladakh delegation meet on issue of statehood for the region

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Apex Body Leh Kargil Democratic Alliance Ladakh Statehood demand

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New Delhi: The Centre is holding a meeting with a delegation from Ladakh here on Monday on their key demands, including statehood for the high-altitude region, two Lok Sabha seats and bringing the area under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.


A 14-member delegation of the Apex Body Leh (ABL) and the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) is meeting the High Powered Committee (HPC) for Ladakh headed by Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai.

"We are going to discuss our demands, including statehood for Ladakh and two Lok Sabha seats," Apex Body Leh member Chering Dorjay Lakrook told PTI.

The demands of the delegation are statehood for Ladakh, two Lok Sabha seats (one for Kargil and one for Leh), job opportunities for the residents of the Union Territory and constitutional protection under the Sixth Schedule, sources said.


Ladakh currently has one Lok Sabha constituency. Ladakh, which no longer has any MLA constituency, was part of Jammu and Kashmir state.

The erstwhile state was bifurcated on August 5, 2019, into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, was also abrogated on that day.


As per the provision of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, Jammu and Kashmir has been made a UT with a legislative assembly and Ladakh has been made a UT without any assembly.

There were four representatives from Ladakh in the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir Assembly.

The Centre had assured the delegation from Ladakh in December last year that it was committed to fast-track the development of the UT and to meet the aspirations of the people there.


The assurance was given at a meeting held with the High Powered Committee (HPC) for Ladakh headed by minister Rai.

Sources said the 14-member delegation will on Monday press for their four-point demands before Rai and seek an early resolution of their issues.

The Ministry of Home Affairs had constituted the High Powered Committee for Ladakh under Rai's chairmanship with a mandate to discuss measures to protect the Ladakh region's unique culture and language taking into consideration its geographical location and strategic importance.


Also to ensure protection of land and employment, measures for inclusive development and employment generation in the region, measures related to empowerment of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils (LAHDCs) of Leh and Kargil and Constitutional safeguards that could be provided to ensure the measures and protection as mentioned above.

Several organisations of Ladakh were demanding a separate Union Territory for the region for decades and the demand was fulfilled on August 5, 2019, with the bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

The KDA and the ABL, however, in the recent past protested at different locations, including New Delhi, Jammu and Ladakh, highlighting the four demands.