Progress on Ladakh's demands as Centre commits to discussion after key meeting

Centre has reiterated its commitment to fast-tracking Ladakh's progress


The Centre on Monday agreed to thoroughly address Ladakh's key demands including statehood, incorporation into the 6th Schedule of the Constitution and the establishment of an exclusive public service commission.

The consensus emerged from a meeting between the High Powered Committee (HPC) for Ladakh, led by Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai, and a 14-member delegation representing various organisations from the Union Territory, notably the Apex Body of Leh (ABL) and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA).

In a joint press release issued by the ABL and KDA, it was stated that the forthcoming discussions would extensively cover Ladakh's primary demands on February 24. 

In light of the significant development, the two organisations from Ladakh agreed to temporarily suspend their planned hunger strike, recognising the importance of ongoing dialogue.

The meeting resolved to establish a joint sub-committee tasked with delving into the intricacies of the demands. 

The sub-committee, comprising representatives from both the ABL and KDA, has been formed with the explicit goal of advancing the dialogue and ensuring comprehensive consideration of Ladakh's concerns.

The names of the sub-committee members have been conveyed to Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla. All members are currently in Delhi, poised to engage in constructive discussions at the upcoming meeting.

Additional demands put forth by the delegation include the allocation of two Lok Sabha seats—one for Kargil and one for Leh—and enhanced job opportunities for residents of the Union Territory. Notably, Ladakh currently has one Lok Sabha constituency, having undergone significant administrative changes following the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, which led to its separation from the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

In response to longstanding calls for development and empowerment, the BJP-led Centre has reiterated its commitment to fast-tracking Ladakh's progress. 

The formation of the HPC for Ladakh under Rai's leadership by the Ministry of Home Affairs underscores the government's dedication to preserving Ladakh's unique cultural heritage, ensuring land rights, and fostering inclusive development. 

The committee is also tasked with empowering the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils (LAHDCs) of Leh and Kargil and exploring constitutional safeguards to uphold the region's interests.

While several Ladakhi organisations had long advocated for a separate Union Territory, recent protests led by the KDA and ABL underscore the continued urgency and importance of addressing Ladakh's key demands through meaningful dialogue and concerted action.

The Centre, sources said, is keen to address the matter concerning Ladakg before the code of conduct comes into force for the Lok Sabha polls to retain the lone Lok Sabha seat in the region.


Join our WhatsApp Channel to get the latest news, exclusives and videos on WhatsApp