NEW DELHI: Ladakh may get back the protection in jobs and land that were guaranteed to the erstwhile state of J&K under Article 35A.
This was indicated by a delegation of political representatives from Ladakh on Sunday who withdrew their call to boycott the upcoming hill council elections a day after holding talks with Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The government said it was open to discussing protection available under the Sixth Schedule of Constitution and other provisions of the constitution to Ladakh, adding that all issues of people of Ladakh concerning language, demography, ethnicity, land and jobs will be considered positively.
Shah assured the delegation that the Centre would explore all avenues towards this objective including under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
The delegation of the People’s Movement for Constitutional Safeguard Under Sixth Schedule for Ladakh was assured that the Centre is committed to empowering the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) of Leh and Kargil and would protect the interests of the people of the Union Territory.
MoS for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy will be in Ladakh on a two-day tour starting on Monday to hold further discussions on the issue.
The People’s Movement, a platform representing various politicians and groups, had on September 22 decided to boycott the upcoming LAHDC polls over their demands for bringing Ladakh under the ambit of provisions of the Sixth Schedule.
It has been seeking the empowerment of the autonomous bodies similar to the Bodo Territorial Council in Assam.
In a joint statement, former Ladakh MPs Thiksay Rinpoche and Thupstan Chhewang, former J&K minister Chhering Dorje and Union ministers Kiren Rijiju and G Kishan Reddy said a dialogue between a larger Ladakhi delegation comprising representatives from Leh and Kargil districts under the aegis of People’s Movement for constitutional safeguard under the Sixth Schedule for Ladakh and the Home ministry would commence after 15 days of the culmination of LAHDC, Leh elections, scheduled for October 16.
“Any decision in this connection would be in consultation with the representatives from Leh and Kargil,” it read.