Ladakh groups say ready for unconditional talks with Centre

Kargil, May 23: The groups spearheading agitation in Ladakh Union Territory for statehood and sixth schedule on Tuesday said that they are ready to hold unconditional talks with New Delhi but won’t give up their four-point agenda.

Addressing a news conference in Kargil after holding a joint meeting, leaders of the Leh Apex Body (LAB) and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) today said that they were always ready to hold talks with the Government of India.

Addressing a joint press conference, co-chairman of Kargil Democratic Alliance Asgar Ali Karbalai,  said that they are committed to their 4-point demand which includes full-fledged statehood for Ladakh, 6th schedule, Separate Lok Sabha seats for Kargil & Leh districts and jobs for the educated youth of Ladakh.

He said that in today’s meeting, Leh Apex Body and KDA have decided that they are ready to hold talks with the Government of India. “We have never run away from holding talks with the government on our agenda,” he said.

He said the Government of India, the Home Ministry in particular, should initiate concrete steps to hold talks with the LAB and KDA. “No recruitment should take place without Ladakh Resident Certificate,” he added.

On Ladakh MP Jamyang Namgyal’s claim that granting of 6th Schedule would weaken Hill Councils, former MP and chairman of LAB Thupstan Chewang said the Hill Councils won’t be disempowered by the 6th Schedule.

“We know it is only the 6th schedule that can provide safeguards to Ladakh,” he said while advising BJP MP Jamyang Namgyal to properly go through provisions of the schedule.

He said the powers have been taken away from Hill Councils after grant of UT status to Ladakh.kno

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