New Delhi [India], July 1 (ANI): In the first of its kind of meeting following the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, leaders from Ladakh on Thursday arrived at the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi and met Union Minister for State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy and demanded full statehood for Ladakh.
The Centre's meeting with civil society group and political leaders from Kargil under the banner of the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) comes days after a similar meeting of leaders from Jammu and Kashmir with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Asgar Ali Karbalai, leader of Congress party and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) said, "We demanded full statehood for Ladakh. Our members spoke with an open heart and Union Minister G Kishan Reddy also listened to us with an open heart and said that this is the first meeting and he will take forward all these things and will take some concrete steps. He said that the government is serious about the development of Ladakh."
"The Union Minister further said that he will personally visit Kargil, Leh and we will be called again but no date has been given. He assured us that the Centre is serious and he will take our words to the Home Minister and to the Prime Minister and something will happen," he added.
In August 2019, the Central government abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the region into two union territories- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Bashir Ahmad Shakir, who was part of the 11-member delegation to meet Kishan Reddy, said that the delegation has been assured that there will be another meeting.
"We have demanded full statehood for Ladakh. Kishan Reddy said that they will think about it and discussed issues in detail. Now talks have started, this is the first meeting; we have been assured that there will be another meeting," he said.
Another member Syed Mohammad Shah said that the delegation raised the issues of development in Ladakh.
"We have raised our problems in Ladakh following the formation of Union Territory. We have talked about our development. We have raised problems of Kargil and Ladakh. After the abrogation of Article 370, we have talked about job security and demanded that we should be given statehood, 35A was protection for us. We should be given statehood just as promised to Jammu and Kashmir," he said. (ANI)