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Veteran leaders of Leh demand 6th Schedule for Ladakh

LEH: In a significant development, veteran leaders of Leh district came on common platform to demand 6th Schedule for Ladakh region.

Keeping their political difference aside, the leaders came on a common platform and pledged to keep this platform as neutral to demand safeguard for Ladakh region in the form of 6th Schedule. The leaders said that they are not ready to accept domicile law for Ladakh and urged the masses of Ladakh to support their demands.

Addressing a press conference here, ex-MP Thiksay Rinpochey flanked by Thupstan Chhewang (ex-MP) and former Ministers Chering Dorjay and Nawang Rigzin Jora appealed all Ladakhis to joint their movement to demand 6th Schedule for Ladakh.

Leaders said that people in Ladakh feel doubly blessed and are ever grateful to Union Government for elevating Ladakh to the status of a union territory. "We are happy that we have been freed from the yoke of selfish rulers who remote controlled us both as people and territory. However, our experience ever since being made a UT on October 31, 2019 shows that our struggle for UT to be directly connected with the national capital has not been properly understood," they said.

"Our movement for UT was motivated by a desire to gain self-respect through a system of self-governance to preserve and perpetuate our rare social, cultural, environmental and linguistic heritage. It was intended to achieve greater cooperation between us and the Union Government but instead, we find that a conventional approach has been adopted marked by non-application of mind to our historic struggle for political empowerment," they added.

The leaders said this in turn has also created fears that the employment avenues for our youth would be considerably shrunk as they would be exposed to competition from outsiders. Strongly batting for reservation of all jobs local youth, they said that there is a need to take at least two steps without further delay.

"First, we should be given a legislative assembly the soonest possible and, if for some reason the Union Government needs more time to ensure it, the two existing Autonomous Hill Development Councils in Leh and Kargil districts should be sufficiently empowered to make necessary legislations and rules for areas under their jurisdiction with elected representatives having the final say," the leaders said.

Secondly, they said Ladakh should be included in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution for which they eminently qualify by virtue of having more than 95 per cent tribal population. Only such Constitutional safeguards would achieve the real purpose of our becoming a UT, the leaders asserted.


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