People are happy with Ladakh becoming a union territory, said, ‘Now there will be development’

Leh/Kargil: There have been mixed reactions from political parties in the region after Ladakh became a union territory. Leaders in Kargil observed ‘Black Day’ while leaders in Leh are seeing it as an opportunity for development. According to the decision of the Central Government on August 5, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been divided into two Union Territories. The central government had decided to remove the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and bifurcate it into two union territories.

people were waiting for 71 years
BJP MP from Ladakh Jamyang Tshering Namgyal said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have accepted the formation of Ladakh as a union territory. Namgyal had come into the limelight during the discussion on the bifurcation of the state in the Lok Sabha with his ‘picture abhi baaki hai’ remark.

He told PTI-language, ‘The people of Ladakh were waiting for this for the last 71 years. We see this move as an inclusive development plan. Apart from tourism, the region has immense potential for border security, defence, ecosystem and medicinal plants. “By making it a Union Territory, there will be more opportunities for infrastructure development,” he said.

protest in kargil
At the same time, markets have been closed in Kargil city since Wednesday and a joint action committee of political and religious groups observed 31 October as a ‘black day’. Asghar Ali Karbalai, former chairman of the Kargil Hill Development Council, expressed his displeasure over making Ladakh a union territory and said, “We are completely against this decision.”

He said, ‘We are continuously protesting against this and for the last three days people are on the roads, markets are closed and public vehicles are off the roads.’ Karbalai said the people of Kargil are against the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into two union territories is “against our interests”.

He said, ‘It is a decision imposed without the consent of the people. Now we have no assembly or powers. It is noteworthy that the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have a Legislative Assembly like Puducherry, while Ladakh will not have a Legislative Assembly like Chandigarh and both will be headed by a separate Lieutenant Governor.

apprehensions in some people
Firoz Ahmed Khan, chairman and CEC of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (Kargil), said, “Though the move is expected to bring development, people are apprehensive about education and jobs.” They want more security in terms of jobs. Advocating reservation for children in Ladakh’s Kargil mandal, he said, “If education and other sectors are open to all, people are apprehensive whether their children will be able to get good jobs.”

welcome the verdict
Former Legislative Council member of Kargil Agha Syed Ahmed Razvi said, ‘Kargil has been discriminated against and has been sidelined again. Earlier also we had parted ways and now it has been done against our wishes.

He said, ‘Citizens do not want this division. We are not seeking freedom, we want unity and justice. Now that this division is done, a balance should be struck between Kargil and Leh. Former Nubra Valley MLA Deldon Namgyal said, “We welcome the decision of the union territory but we are looking forward to it being included in the Sixth Schedule to protect our culture and economic dimensions.”

Also read: What changed after the formation of Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh

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