Facing embarrassment before the party high command after local organizations of Ladakh raised a demand of statehood for the cold desert, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unit of the Union Territory (UT) has decided to disassociate itself from the demands.
Leh Apex Body (LAB) and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) that were earlier demanding Sixth Schedule for the region changed their demand to statehood for Ladakh that made the local unit of saffron party comfortable as BJP had created Ladakh as a Union Territory in 2019 after carving out the region from Jammu and Kashmir.
However LAB and KDA are awaiting a formal invite from Ministry of Home Affairs in which they are set to raise the demand for statehood for Ladakh. Earlier the local unit of BJP was supporting the demands of sixth schedule of both the organizations. “But BJP was left surprised when both the organizations raised the demand of statehood and legislature for Ladakh. It is not viable as the region has not more than 2.80 lakh population and only nearly 1.60 lakh voters” said a senior BJP leader based in Delhi.
LAB chief Thupstan Chhewang had written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah seeking appointment for joint delegation of the LAB and KDA about two weeks back but there has been no response so far.
Thupstan said that even if local unit of BJP doesn’t support them on the demands of legislature and state for Ladakh, they will go ahead and meet the Union Home Minister.
Sources in central government said that Sixth Schedule type status will be granted to Ladakh to protect local culture.
“Ladakhis had demanded UT status for the region since long and now it has been provided by the Narendra Modi led government but some local parties are trying to politicize the issue for their gains” said a Leh based leader of BJP.