Ladakh poll boycott over Sixth Schedule called off after meeting with Shah


After a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the Bodoland Territorial Council-model demand for Leh, the call to boycott the LAHDC (Leh Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council) elections was withdrawn by a delegation of political representatives from the Union Territory, which included former MP Thupstan Chhewang, former J&K minister Chering Dorjay and Thiksay Monastery head Rinpoche Nawang Chamba Stanzin. Ministers of State G. Kishen Reddy and Kiren Rijiju were also present at the meeting, which was held on Saturday in New Delhi.

 Rijiju, Minister of States for Youth and Sports Affairs, declared that the government is ready to discuss the protection and demands of Ladakhi people under the Sixth Schedule. Earlier this month, all parties came together in Leh to declare a boycott of Leh LAHDC elections, while demanding for a hill council with legislative powers under the Sixth Schedule. 

The call was made by the umbrella group of political parties and religious organisations, People’s Movement for Sixth Schedule, which includes the all-powerful Leh-based Ladakh Buddhist Association. This demand has been in the works since Ladakh and J&K were declared separate UTs last year and was later amplified by Students Organisation of Unified Ladakh.

 The schedule for filing nominations for the LAHDC has begun from September 2 and will continue till September 28 as the five-year term of the present council is going to expire on November 2, and October 1 is the last date for the withdrawal of nominations.