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UT alone can help BJP in Trans-Himalayan Ladakh
Party is over?
1/4/2019 11:09:01 PM
Early Times Report
jammu, Jan 4: Ladakhi Buddhists are quitting the BJP. It will become a story of the past sooner than later in case the BJP failed to arrest this trend. The BJP's decline in the trans-Himalayan region commenced on the eve of the ULB polls. It was clear that the BJP would lose its face if it failed to concede the Ladakhis' age-old demand for Union Territory, but the BJP missed the bus by ignoring the sentiment of the people of Ladakh, particularly of Leh district. The BJP fielded 26 candidates in all the 26 wards into which Ladakh was divided and the Ladakhis inflicted a humiliating defeat on the BJP. It couldn't win even one out of 26 wards. It was the Congress which turned the tables capturing all the 13 wards in Leh district and improving its position in Kargil.
As if all this was not enough to hurt the BJP, the BJP's top Ladakhi Buddhist leader and Lok Sabha MP Thupstan Chhewang resigned both from the Lok Sabha and the party accusing the BJP national general secretary and in-charge J&K Ram Madhav and local BJP leaders, including J&K BJP chief Ravinder Raina, of destroying the BJP in the region. Thupstan also accused the party leadership of "badly letting down the people of Ladakh by not fulfilling its two solemn commitments - grant of UT and inclusion of Bhoti language in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution". He didn't even spare the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi; the Home Minister, Rajnath Singh; and the party chief, Amit Shah. He claimed that he met all these top leaders and pleaded the region's cause, but with no result. The party leadership tried its best to persuade him to withdraw his resignation letter but he refused, thus causing a huge damage to the party in the cold-desert region.
And on January 3, the Ladakhi Buddhists again struck. No less than 5 BJP Councilors resigned from the BJP reducing the BJP to a minority in the 30-member Autonomous Hill Council, Leh. The BJP had created a history of sorts in 2015 by winning 18 seats and snatching the Hill Council from the well-entrenched Congress. All the 5 Councilors lambasted the local BJP leadership and accused it of "embarrassing their top leader Thupstan Chhewang".
The manner in which Thupstan Chhewang and five Councilors resigned and the prevailing unrest in the Ladakhi unit of the BJP clearly suggest that the BJP is in serious trouble in the region. It is also clear that the BJP could restore the ground lost in the region only if the Union Government granted UT status to Ladakh as promised.
"If the BJP wishes to regain its last position in Ladakh, it has to do at least two things before February 28, 2019. It has to grant UT status to Leh district and it has to recognize the Bhoti language". This is the message from Ladakh. The ball is in the court of the declining BJP.
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