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Is the Ladakh bureaucracy undermining councillors of LAHDC?

On January 26, the councillors of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC)-Leh boycotted the Republic Day function the official event after they were not allowed to enter through the VIP gate, allegedly. This gave a rise to a controversy as councillors alleged it to be a continued bid to undermine the elected Leh and Kargil Hill Councils in Ladakh.

After Ladakh has been declared as a separate Union Territory, councilors of the LAHDC-Leh and the LAHDC-Kargil said that bureaucracy has been getting really powerful, allegedly encroaching into their jurisdiction and disempowering public representatives like them.

Nasir Hussain Munshi, an elected councillor from the LAHDC-Kargil said that after Ladakh became a separate UT, bureaucracy has been ruling them and they are the bureaucracy is ruling and interfering in everything.

 Sonam Nubroo, who represents Sku-Markha said that they are being neglected and now there is no protocol and added that he thought they would be empowered but it’s the opposite.

Konchak Stanzin, an independent councillor of the LAHDC-Leh from Chushul, blamed told The Indian Express that Ladakh administration for empowering the bureaucrats so much that the elected institutions have been eroded and added that they have only one elected institution here but even that is not being allowed to work properly.

The LAHDC-Leh’s Chief Executive Councillor (CEC) and senior BJP leader, Tashi Gyalson says what happened on the Republic Day was “unfortunate”, but says it was not deliberate.

“The statehood for Ladakh is our biggest demand. It started from Kargil and then Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) discussed it with the Apex Body of Leh and they agreed with us,” says Munshi, who is with the Congress.

The residents of Ladakh have witnessed various shutdowns since August over the demand for statehood and 6th Schedule. Munshi said that their demands include an additional Lok Sabha seat for Ladakh and safeguards for locals in land and jobs. “We have only one parliamentary seat in Ladakh, which often leads to communalisation of elections. We demand another seat so that we have one each for Leh and Kargil,” he says. “There has been no word from the administration on the safeguards in land and jobs for locals.”

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