Srinagar, Oct 2: Local parties in the Union Territory of Ladakh are likely to give tough competition to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council elections, slated to be held later this month.
Senior BJP leader and party’s general secretary organization, Ashok Kaul, had stirred the Hornet’s Nest last month after he termed the demand about implementing the Sixth Schedule in Ladakh as “nonsense.” However Kaul had later said that his statement had been twisted.
The Sixth Schedule makes separate arrangements for tribal-designated areas, restricting ownership of land and government jobs to local residents only.
Soon after Kaul’s statement Leh observed a shutdown to protest against the remarks made by a senior BJP leader on a resolution passed by a local group to seek implementation of Sixth Schedule. Even the students had staged a protest outside a hotel in Leh where Ashok Kaul and BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav were staying during their visit to the mountainous region.
It’s in place to mention here that the Apex Body of People’s Movement for Sixth Schedule, a newly formed group comprising prominent local religious bodies and units of political parties in Ladakh had taken the BJP leadership head on for opposing their demand.
Soon after the issue snowballed into a major controversy BJP national general secretary, Ram Madhav, was dropped from the list of national office bearers of the party. The media reports claimed that axe fell on Madhav due to him not being able to handle the situation in Ladakh. But the BJP leaders in J&K termed Madhav’s exclusion as a “routine matter.”
According to the media reports the BJP leaders in Ladakh have requested the party high command not to depute any leaders from J&K for election campaigning as they fear that the move would backfire.
A source said, “The BJP in Ladakh is up against a tough opposition, which is raising the issues that touch the skin of a common man in the newly carved out Union Territory and any rhetoric on the part of the BJP leaders can create confusion. The local BJP leaders in Ladakh are of the opinion that if the party has to win the LAHDC elections it will have to endorse the demands of the local population and it can’t go against the tide.”
He said, “The BJP leaders in Ladakh have decided to carry on the campaigning on their own rather than calling any stalwart leader to help them out.”