Leaders from Ladakh today decided to support the elections to Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh.
Leaders from Ladakh today decided to support the elections to Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh. The decision comes after their meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah. Earlier, they had decided to boycott the elections over demand of constitutional safeguards under Sixth Schedule to Ladakh. But that changed after a delegation met Amit Shah in Delhi on Saturday.
Among the leaders who met the Home Minister were former Lok Sabha MP Thupstan Chewang, former Rajya Sabha Member Skyabje Thiksey Rinpochey, and former minister Chering Dorjey. MoS Home G Kishan Reddy and MoS Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju were also present during the meeting. After meeting with the Home Minister, the delegation promised its support to ensure smooth conduct of these elections.
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Earlier this week, representatives from different political parties came together to demand constitutional safeguards under the Sixth Schedule to Ladakh. The leaders passed a resolution saying that they would boycott the election — to Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council — till the time Union Territory of Ladakh is granted the constitutional safeguards under the Sixth Schedule. The demand for Sixth Schedule started after they felt that the Council in current form can no longer protect the interest of tribal as it did not have power to legislate or frame rules on subjects like land, jobs, and cultures.
But now the Home Ministry has assured the delegation that all issues related to language, demography, ethnicity, land and jobs will be considered positively. “A dialogue between a larger Ladakhi delegation comprising representatives from Leh and Kargil Districts under the aegis of “Peoples Movement for Constitutional safeguard under VIth Schedule” and Union Home Ministry would commence after 15 days of the culmination of LAHDC, Leh elections. Any decision so reached in this connection would be in consultation with the representatives from Leh and Kargil,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Home Minister also said that the Centre was committed to empower the LAHDC of Leh and Kargil and would safeguard interests of the people of the UT of Ladakh. “It would explore all avenues towards this objective…The Government of India is open to discuss protection available under the 6th Schedule of Constitution of India while looking into issues related to Ladakhi people,” the ministry said.
About 95 per cent of the population in Ladakh is tribal, having distinct ethnicity, culture, and customs. The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution includes the provisions for the administration of tribal areas and is implemented in states of Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, and Mizoram.