Ladakh representatives demand ‘restoration of Article 370 and 35A, full-fledged statehood’ from Centre
Representatives from Ladakh on Thursday met the Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy and stood firm on their demand on a full-fledged statehood for Ladakh and a developmental outlook for Kargil.
“Our agenda focussed on the restoration of Article 370 and Article 35A. We also told that we were against division, but were in favour of a state. We don’t consider (Ladakh as a) Union Territory. We also discussed development,” Qamar Ali Akhoon, leader of the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA), said after the meeting.
As many as 11 leaders attended the meeting with Union Home Ministry officials, a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met leaders from Jammu and Kashmir for the first since the bifurcation of the state in August 2019.
“We had 2 clear agendas – restoration of Article 370 and 35A, and full-fledged statehood for Ladakh. We discussed these with Union Home Minister for 2.5 hours. More meetings are to be followed to discuss this,” Asgar Ali Karbalai, Congress and KDA leader, said.
The Centre has reportedly assured the Kargil representatives that “Kargil is as important as Ladakh and a bid to introduce land reforms in the region will begin shortly”.
Attempts are being made to strengthen democracy in the highly-volatile border region where India and Pakistan faced-off in a bitter war in 1999.
The representatives demanded infrastructural improvement such as roads, along with land rights, for Kargil.