KDA to meet Apex Body soon on Statehood

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Oct 12: Amid growing demand for Statehood for Ladakh, the Kargil Democratic Alliance, a united front of various political, social and religious groups in Kargil, said they would discuss the issue with the Ladakh Apex Body soon and warned of protests if demands are not met.
A statement from the KDA said a meeting was held on Monday, and it was decided that a virtual meeting would soon be held with the Ladakh Apex Body (LAB) to discuss further course of action.
The KDA and LAB have demanded Statehood for Ladakh, one more Lok Sabha seat and two Rajya Sabha seats among other things.
“The meeting was conducted after taking note of the Leh Apex Body (LAB) that has expressed its resentment over the delay in initiating dialogue process by the Union Government about the future of Ladakh,” the statement said.
“It has been decided that soon KDA will have a virtual meeting with LAB to discuss future course of action,” the statement said.
In the meeting, the KDA also discussed the need of air connectivity to Kargil, and demanded more than 72-seater commercial air service from Kargil in the upcoming winter season, during which access through land routes is difficult.
Kargil has a military airfield which is also used for limited civilian operations.
The KDA added in its statement that protests would be held against the Union Territory administration if the demands are not met.
The Leh-based Ladakh Apex Body of People’s Movement for 6th Schedule and Kargil Democratic Alliance are the bodies from the two regions of Ladakh which have been demanding Statehood. Ladakh became a Union Territory, along with Jammu and Kashmir, when Articles 370 and 35-A were abrogated on August 5, 2019.
While J&K is to be a UT with legislature, Ladakh does not have any provision for it. The KDA has also demanded restoration of Article 370.
The LAB and KDA, both representing different social and religious groups from the two regions of Ladakh – Leh and Kargil, joined hands to forward their demands in August this year.
A bandh was also called by the LAB and KDA together on August 28 in support of their demands.
Representatives from both Kargil and Leh have been meeting Ministers and representatives of the Union Government as well.