Land law amendments: Cong accuses BJP of 'deceiving' people of Ladakh

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Leh, Oct 27 (PTI) The Ladakh unit of the Congress on Tuesday accused the BJP of 'deceiving' the people of Ladakh by amending land laws that will allow people from outside to buy land in the union territory.

The Congress said 'it is a gift of the BJP to Ladakhis' for voting it to power in the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh.

Congress Ladakh UT president and former minister Nawang Rigzin Jora also said they would continue their struggle for constitutional safeguards under the Sixth Schedule for the protection of distinctive culture and identity of the region.

In a gazette notification, the Centre has omitted the phrase 'permanent resident of the state' from Section 17 of the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act that deals with disposal of the land in the union territory.

'This is a gift of BJP to the people of Ladakh who voted the party to power in the recently held elections to LAHDC-Leh. The ruling party has deceived the people by false promises (during campaigning),' Jora told PTI.

Retaining power, the BJP on Monday had won the election to the 26-member Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC)-Leh by bagging 15 seats, while the Congress got nine seats. Independents won two seats in the election, the first since Ladakh was made a Union Territory in August last year.

Jora said the Congress was not surprised by the amendment and was expecting such an order after Ladakh notified its rules on October 8 under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) to allow a developer or a promoter to buy land, develop colonies and holiday homes and establish a hotel chain.

The Peoples Movement for Sixth Schedule for Ladakh, a powerful platform having representatives from various political, religious and social organisations, announced a poll boycott in September but later withdrew the call within days after a delegation of the Ladakhi leaders met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and highlighted its various demands including protection of land and jobs. PTI TAS SKL SMN SMN