Two bodies to finalize 7 names each today
LG Ladakh, MP, CECs to be present in meeting
Jammu, Oct 30:
In a significant step towards resolution of pending issues in the Union Territory of Ladakh, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has again invited a delegation of Leh Apex Body (LAB) and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) for talks in New Delhi and conceded their major demand that all issues will be discussed at the meeting to be chaired by Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai, who happens to be the Chairman of High Powered Committee (HPC).
Confirming that the MHA has expressed readiness to discuss all issues, LAB Chairman Thupstan Chhewang told the Excelsior that they have accepted the invite and will finalize seven names each from LAB and KDA, totaling 14, by tomorrow morning who will go for talks on their behalf with the Union Home Ministry’s HPC.
Besides 14 members from LAB and KDA, Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh Brig (Retd) BD Mishra, BJP Lok Sabha Member from Ladakh Jamyang Tsering Namgyal and both Chairpersons-cum-CECs of Hill Development Councils, Leh and Kargil have also been called to the meeting which is expected to take place in first half of November.
To be chaired by Union MoS Home Nityanand Rai, the HPC also has senior MHA officials Incharge Ladakh division.
“We will go to the meeting as our major demand that all issues should be discussed at the meeting has been accepted by the Union Home Ministry.
Though the MHA hasn’t specifically mentioned discussion on grant of Sixth Schedule status and Statehood to Ladakh, they have said all issues can be discussed. So, we will attend,” Chhewang said, adding that it will be a 14-member delegation of LAB and KDA which will go for the talks-seven each from the two bodies.
The names will be finalized by tomorrow morning, the LAB Chairman said.
Insiders said the LAB held its meeting in Leh and discussed the Home Ministry’s invitation.
Four-point agenda of the LAB and KDA include grant of Sixth Schedule status and Statehood for Ladakh, two Lok Sabha seats-one each for Leh and Kargil- and job opportunities for the locals.
They have also demanded constitution of the Public Service Commission (PSC) for Ladakh but said if it can’t be constituted, Ladakh should be included in the PSC of Jammu and Kashmir on the pattern of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court.
However, they have stressed, the Ladakh Resident Certificate (LRC) should be made mandatory for all kind of recruitments.
Last meeting of the High Powered Committee was held in New Delhi on June 19 after which the LAB and KDA had decided that they will attend next meeting only if their agenda is included in the talks.
Though the Central Government had earlier ruled out Statehood for Ladakh but now the MHA has briefed LAB that all issues can be discussed in the meeting, the sources said, adding this has prompted LAB and KDA to accept the invite for talks.
After June 19 talks, another meeting of the HPC was delayed due to visit of Tibetan Spiritual Leader The Dalai Lama to Ladakh for nearly one and a half month followed by elections to the Kargil Hill Council.
The LAB and KDA leaders to whom the Excelsior spoke were confident that the Central Government especially the Union Home Ministry headed by Amit Shah which has been dealing with issues of Ladakh through Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai will take favourable view of all issues.
Parliament elections are due in next six months now. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had won Ladakh Lok Sabha seat, which is lone constituency in the Union Territory, for two consecutive terms in 2014 and 2019. In 2014, Thupstan Chhewang, who now heads LAB as well as Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA), won the seat for BJP while in 2019, Jamyang Tsering Namgayal retained the seat for the party.
In the last meeting held in New Delhi on June 19, Union MoS Home Nityanand Rai and the top MHA officials listened to issues raised by LAB and KDA and assured that the talks will go on and the High Powered Committee (HPC) meeting will be called.
The LAB and KDA earlier had reservations over the HPC which headed by Nityanand Rai was constituted by the MHA on January 4 this year. They had objected to inclusion of some leaders and wanted that representatives of LAB and KDA in the HPC should be finalized with their consent. Later, the MHA agreed that representatives of LAB and KDA will be equal and finalized by the organizations themselves which the two bodies have now done.(by Daily Excelsior )