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After extending mere lip service, all parties again eyeing Ladakh
1/21/2019 10:54:17 PM
Early Times Report

SRINAGAR, Jan 21: With Parliamentary and Assembly elections coming closer, all political parties are again eyeing Ladakh despite the fact that the region has been ignored by the successive governments.
Sources said leaders of all the political parties have decided to raise the issues concerning the region in elections, which the successive governments failed to fulfill.
"Before elections, promises have been made with the people of Ladakh, but once the elections were over, nobody paid any heed," a Congress leader said.
Sources said there is general feeling among the leaders that the Ladakh region has been completely ignored in the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) between the PDP and BJP or between NC and Congress.
"We were promised Union Territory status but the BJP has backtracked from its promise," Mohammad Sadi, a resident of Zanskar said.
The demand for the Union Territory status was vindicated by Congress and BJP during their earlier election campaigning. However, the PDP had said such a move will not only divide the state but dilute its special status.
It was in 2002 when the then PDP-Congress government granted devolution of powers to LAHDC and later the NC-Congress government in 2013 granted special status to the Ladakh region although it stoked a major controversy when there was opposition from various quarters that granting special status to Ladakh region.
During the elections, the Ladakh unit of the Congress contested on the poll-plank of the Union Territory status, which was opposed by the State Congress leadership and other political parties.
"The employees of the Council come under the state government. Sometimes the DCs are not adhering to the directions of the Council during the framing of district plan since they come under the jurisdiction of the state government. Now we want that it should be fully empowered that even state employees in the Ladakh region must follow its directions for the development of the region," he said.
Replying to a question that BJP and Congress leaders of the Ladakh region have been demanding Union Territory status for the Ladakh region, a BJP leader replied, "All social, political and religious organizations have been fighting for it. But it was not possible for the BJP to fulfill the demand while it was in government."
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