Breakdown in talks on Statehood & Sixth Schedule prompts ‘Ladakh Bandh’

ladakh statehood
Representative Photo

In a significant development, religious bodies in Leh have called for a Ladakh bandh in response to the breakdown of talks between the Ladakh Apex Body (LAB) and the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The deadlock emerged as LAB and KDA insisted on the full implementation of the Sixth Schedule and demanded statehood during recent Sub-Committee meetings and discussions with Home Minister Amit Shah.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs had initially conceded to Ladakh’s demand for a Public Services Commission (PSC) and partial implementation of the Sixth Schedule through elected Hill Development Councils. However, the impasse arose as LAB and KDA insisted on direct implementation of the Sixth Schedule and statehood.

Speaking to the media, Chering Dorjey Lakruk, co-chairman of Leh Apex Body, stated that progress had been made on setting up the PSC for Ladakh, although the Ministry wanted to implement some parts of the Sixth Schedule indirectly. The deadlock primarily revolved around the demands for statehood and the full implementation of the Sixth Schedule, leading to the calls of Ladakh bandh.

MHA urges dialogue amidst call for Ladakh bandh

Despite the breakdown in talks, the Home Ministry urged continuous dialogue to provide necessary constitutional safeguards to the Union Territory of Ladakh.

Educationist and social reformer Sonam Wangchuk has announced his intention to go on a fast in protest against the failure of the talks. Additionally, a rally has been planned in Leh to express dissent.

LAB and KDA leaders, who are expected to return to Ladakh shortly, have pledged to engage with the local populace to discuss the future course of action following the unsuccessful negotiations.

Over the past two years, LAB and KDA leaders have held several rounds of meetings with the Union Home Ministry, focusing on a four-point agenda that includes statehood, Sixth Schedule implementation, the establishment of a Public Services Commission, and the allocation of two Parliamentary seats for Ladakh.

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