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On MHA's invitation, Ladakh leadership to meet MoS Home in Delhi

To present 4 demands
10:48 PM Nov 24, 2023 IST | Irfan Raina
on mha s invitation  ladakh leadership to meet mos home in delhi
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Kargil, Nov 24: On the invitation of Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), a 14 member delegation of Ladakh leadership will meet the Minister of State (MoS) for Home Nityanand Rai in New Delhi on December 4 with four demands.

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The development is taking place after five months of the stalled dialogue between MHA and the Leh Apex Body (LAB) and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA), an amalgam of social, political, trade, students and religious groups from Ladakh.

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"The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will hold meeting with the leaders of Leh Apex Body (LAB) and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) in New Delhi on December 4. The meeting will be chaired by the Union MoS Home, Nityanand Rai, who is also the chairman of the High Powered Committee (HPC) constituted by the MHA, on December 4,” sources told the Greater Kashmir. They added that the Government of India has shown flexibility in its stand and expressed readiness to discuss all contentious issues being raised by the representatives of KDA and LAB after the region was granted the status of the Union Territory on August 5, 2019. Seven representatives each from LAB and KDA will proceed to New Delhi to attend the December 4 meeting. Besides 14 members from LAB and KDA, Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh Brig (Retd) BD Mishra, BJP Lok Sabha Member from Ladakh Jamyang Tsering Namgyal and both Chairpersons-cum-CECs of Hill Development Councils, Leh and Kargil have also been invited for the meeting.

Confirming the development, senior politician from Leh and member Leh Apex Body Chering Dorjey told Greater Kashmir that they have received the invitation and the meeting will be held on December 4. Sajad Hussain Kargili, member of the Kargil Democratic Alliance said that they are going to meet with MHA on December 4 with “our 04 demands and hopeful for the resolution.” The dialogue between MHA and representatives of Ladakh are resuming after five months. Last official talks between MHA and representatives of the two bodies were held on June 19, 2023. Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai had held the talks. After June 19 talks, another meeting of the HPC was delayed due to visit of Tibetan Spiritual Leader The Dalai Lama to Ladakh for nearly one and a half month followed by elections to the Kargil Hill Council.

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Pertinently, four-point agenda of the LAB and KDA include constitutional safeguards under Sixth Schedule, Statehood for Ladakh, two Lok Sabha seats-one each for Leh and Kargil- and job opportunities for the locals. They have also demanded constitution of the Public Service Commission (PSC) for Ladakh but said if it can not be constituted, Ladakh should be included in the PSC of Jammu and Kashmir on the pattern of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court.

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Last meeting of the High Powered Committee was held in New Delhi on June 19 after which the LAB and KDA had decided that they will attend next meeting only if their agenda is included in the talks.

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Though the Central Government had earlier ruled out Statehood for Ladakh but now the MHA has briefed LAB that all issues can be discussed in the meeting, the sources said, adding this has prompted LAB and KDA to accept the invite for talks.

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