Statehood paramount for Ladakh: MP Hanifa Jan : The Tribune India

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Statehood paramount for Ladakh: MP Hanifa Jan

Statehood paramount for Ladakh: MP Hanifa Jan

Mohammad Hanifa Jan



PTI

New Delhi, June 13

Sixth schedule and statehood for Ladakh remains the key demand for newly elected MP Mohammad Hanifa Jan, who said he will approach leaders of the National Democratic Alliance, as well as the INDIA bloc, to ensure people of his constituency get their rights.

Hanifa Jan, who fought the polls as an Independent candidate after resigning from the National Conference, said he will not be joining any ranks as of now. “The election in Ladakh this time was different … So far, elections used to be on religious or regional lines. This time, people voted only on issues,” Hanifa Jan said.

Ladakh has witnessed a series of protests over the last few years with demand for safeguards under sixth schedule of the Constitution and statehood. Besides the two demands, the four-point agenda, which brought together the Leh Apex Body and Kargil Democratic Alliance on the negotiation table with the Union Home ministry, also has the demand for a separate public service commission and two separate Lok Sabha seats — one each for Kargil and Leh.

Just ahead of the elections, their key demands were turned down by the Home Ministry. The refusal led to a massive protest in Leh, helmed by climate activist Sonam Wangchuk. The agitation was suspended just before the elections.

“In the last five years, people have been complaining about the UT set up, they are concerned about their future employment … Dreams of several youths have been shattered. Those who are studying are also not sure about their future. This is a common issue across Ladakh,” Hanifa Jan said.

“We have been fighting over these issues over the last five years. Congress also raised the same issues in the elections. If you put the vote share together, 80 per cent of Ladakh’s people said they are not happy with the status quo and they want these issues resolved,” Hanifa Jan said.

“Government should think about what the mandate of the people is about,” he said. The Ladakh MP, who held a meeting with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, said he shared the four-point demand with him. “The meeting with Rahul Gandhi was good. We shared the demands of the people of Ladakh in detail, and asked how far they can support us,” Hanifa Jan said.

“I met the leadership of INDIA bloc, I will also meet government representatives, and raise the issues. I hope the government will also take note of the concerns of the people of Ladakh and address them,” he said.

The Independent lawmaker asserted he is not planning to join any party. “It is very clear I will not join any party. We have formed a group—Ladakh Democratic Alliance, I will continue as an Independent MP.” Hanifa Jan stressed that the statehood is important for the Ladakhis to exercise their sovereignty.

“As long as democracy is not established, safeguards will not help as we will remain under the L-G and the bureaucracy. We want Ladakhis to rule Ladakh, take their own decisions,” he said.

#INDIA bloc #Ladakh


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