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Leh delegation agrees to withdraw boycott call of Ladakh hill council polls: Rijiju

NEW DELHI: Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Sunday said that the Central government is open to discuss protection available under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India while looking into issues related to the people of Ladakh.

The delegation of political representatives from Leh who had arrived in Delhi also decided to withdraw its call to boycott the ensuing October 16 election of the Leh Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), the union minister said.

The five-year term of the present council expires on November 2.

Speaking to reporters, Rijiju said, "Due to COVID-19, a limited delegation which is the apex body made in Ladakh, represents the Committee for People's Movement for Constitutional Safeguard under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India. You all know that the election for the Ladakh autonomous council will going to be held soon and the notification for the same has already come.

"There is an issue. As we all know that a historic decision was taken when through Parliament the government created Ladakh as a Union Territory. Now everything is going fine but there are additional demands from the people of Ladakh regarding the internal mechanism of people of Ladakh for language protection, demography, ethnicity, land and jobs protection of people of Ladakh, there should be constitutional provisions. They have called for the boycott of the Autonomous Hill Development Council Election on these issues."

"I was in Leh 10 days ago and this issue came. Yesterday the delegation from Ladakh came to Delhi and met Home Minister Amit Shah and we have a good meeting. We have reached a compromise," he said.

A three member delegation of Ladakhi veteran leaders comprising former MPs Thiksay Rinpoche, Thupstan Chhewang and Chhering Dorje Lakrook former Minister in the PDP-BJP government in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, on behalf of the people of Leh, Ladakh, met with the Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday. G Kishan Reddy, MOS Home and Kiren Rijiju, MOS Youth Affairs and Sports were also present during the meeting.

"The delegation was assured that all issues related to language, demography, ethnicity, land and jobs will be considered positively and taken care of. A dialogue between a larger Ladakhi delegation, comprising of representatives from Leh and Kargil districts under the aegis of People's Movement for Constitutional Safeguard under six schedule, a 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," Rijiju said.

"Union Home Minister assured the delegation that the government of India is committed to empower Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council of Leh and Kargil and would safeguard the interest of the people of the Union territory of Ladakh. It would explore all avenues towards this objective," Rijiju said.

"The government of India is open to discuss the protection available under the six schedule of the Constitution of India while looking into the issues related to the Ladakhi people. The delegation has agreed to withdraw its call for the boycott of the ensuing Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh elections and promised its wholesome support to the smooth conduct of the elections," he added.

 

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