BJP faces crisis in Leh as 5 Councillors resign

Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, Jan 3: Bharatiya Janata Party is facing severe crisis in Leh with five of its sitting Councillors resigning from the party putting it in minority in 26 member Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh.
The five sitting Councillors of LAHDC, Leh have submitted their resignation to Leh district president of the party, three days back. With the resignation of five Councillors the strength of BJP which was led by young CEC Jamyang Tsering Namgyal in LADHC, Leh has been reduced to minority. Out of 26 elected Councillors in LAHDC, Leh, BJP had 17 and with the resignation of five Councillors, it has come down to 12 falling short of magic figure of 14 by two Councillors.
The decision of five councillors has shaken the party and it has started the damage controlling formula. To tide over the crisis, the party is sending a fact finding team to Leh within a day or two to hold parlays within aggrieved councillors by adopting a reconciliatory approach.
CEC Leh Namgyal refused to comment on the developments and when asked to give his view on the reasons of the resignation, he said they (councillors) have mentioned the same in their letter. Further, he declined to make any comment.
It may be recalled that out of total strength of 30 Councillors in LAHDC, Leh, 26 are elected while four are nominated. The four nominated Councillors have no right to vote. The Congress has six Councillors in the House, National Conference (NC) two while one is Independent.
The five Councillors who submitted their resignation to BJP district president, Leh included former CEC, Dorjay Mutup of Kyungyam Constituency, former Executive Councillor for Agriculture, Tsering Wangdus, Tingmosgang Constituency, Councillor Tsering Morup, Temisgam Constituency, Tangtse Councillor, Tashi Namgyal and Chushul Councillor, Konchok Stanzin. Following the demise of former CEC late Dr.Sonam Dawa on January 29 last year, the BJP had changed Hill Council Chairman twice within an year. The recent reshuffle in the Council failed to provide one Executive seat to Changthan region which resulted in constant protest from region alleging discrimination. The resignation letter read “we submit our resignation from party membership on the grounds of the recent unfortunate political developments in the party”.
The BJP Councillors in their resignation letter have mentioned the recent unfortunate political developments in the party followed by what they called “undemocratic, indiscipline and non serious style of functioning of the party leadership in Leh.
The aggrieved Councillors have also cited the marginalisation of senior party leader from Ladakh and MP, Thupstan Chhewang by the State leadership and few local elements.
The resignation letter read: “despite the fact that BJP councillors and Mandal presidents endorsed protest over our supreme leader Thupstan Chhewang’s diminishing role in the party owing intentional marginalisation by State leadership and few local elements while making crucial decisions related to Leh district from time to time, all fell on deaf ears.”
The letter further read that councillors and mandal presidents even unanimously signed resolution pressurising the State and district leadership not to accept the Thupstan Chhewang’s resignation from party and MP post in the pure interest of the party but the State leadership paid no heed in solving the issue.
It said that another unfortunate development surfaced after removal of previous CEC when Changthan region was denied representation in the Executive Council. Although it is not mandatory as per the Council Act it is the responsibility of the party to ensure equal representation in the Executive Council as per the past practice, it added.
Citing these reasons, the aggrieved councillors said that with the highhandedness of the leadership they have lost faith in the present Executive Council which is responsible for severe regional imbalances. It accused the party of not giving credit to seniority of the members and also lacks discipline due to which public has also lost faith in it.
BJP general secretary, Dr Narinder Singh when contacted said that he has also been informed by senior party colleague and general secretary (Org), Ashok Koul about the developments in Leh this evening and the party is deputing a fact finding team to Leh to hold talks with aggrieved Councillors. “We will try to have reconciliation with them by addressing their grievances”, he added.
However, Congress termed it an internal matter of BJP. Senior Congress leader and former Minister, Nawang Rigzin Jora said that it is the internal matter of the party adding that with the resignation of five Councillors, the BJP has been reduced to minority in LAHDC, Leh.