BJP MP from Ladakh Jamyang Tsering Namgyal said today in Lok Sabha that only two families will lose the livelihood due to the abolition of Articles 35A and 370, while it will ensure a bright future of Kashmir.
Participating in the debate on the bill to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories, Tsering said mistakes done by prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru are being rectified now. He reminded the house about the comment of Nehru when he described Ladakh region as a piece of land when even a blade of grass does not grow. Nehru had said this while dismissing the loss of Aksai Chin to China in 1962, implying that India didn’t lose anything by the Chinese occupation of this barren land.
The Ladakh MP said that people of Ladakh have been struggling for Union Territory for the last 71 years, as they want to be an integral part of India. He said people of Ladakh had demanded that the region should be kept as Centrally administrative area, or included in NEFA (Arunachal Pradesh) or East Punjab, but it should not be included with Jammu and Kashmir. But the government of the time didn’t listen to this.
Jamyang Tsering said that under Kashmir, the development, political aspiration, identity, language of Ladakh have become extinct, and Article 370 and the Congress party are responsible for the same.
Referring to a question on what will be lost after Article 370 is scrapped which was asked by an MP from Kashmir, Tsering said, one thing will be definitely lost, two families will lose their livelihood, other than nothing will be lost. The livelihood of only two families will be lost, and Kashmir’s future is going to be bright, he reiterated to huge applause in the house.
The Ladakh MP said that during 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, UT status for Ladakh was promised by BJP in the party’s manifesto, and voters in Ladakh supported the move by voting for BJP in large numbers. He also said that people belonging to all communities in Ladakh have been demanding union territory status for the region. He said that District presidents of both National Conference and PDP in Leh had signed the memorandum seeking union territory status for Ladakh, but subsequently both the parties had expelled the leader from their parties by issuing press releases in Kashmir.
Responding to claims by an MP that Kargil has been shut down in protest against the decision, he said, ‘try to know the facts, I have been elected from Ladakh, not you, you sit down quietly’. He said that people who think only a street and a small market is Kargil are saying that the region is closed. He asserted that 70% of people in Kargil support the bill.
Jamyang Tsering also alleged that the state government of Jammu and Kashmir uses fund meant for Ladakh in Kashmir. He said that be it setting up institutions of higher education or creating new districts, Ladakh is always by the government. He said that Kashmiri Pandits were kicked out of the state by misusing Article 370. The MP also alleged that Article 370 was misused to eliminate Buddhists in the state.
The Ladakh informed the house that Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council had already passed a resolution in 2011 rejecting the separate flag of Jammu and Kashmir. He said that Ladakh is already using the National Emblem and the National Flags, not the separate symbols adopted by J&K.
He said that the two families, who keep talking about the Kashmir issue, they don’t want a solution to the problem, but they are the part of the problem. ‘They are intoxicated, they still think Kashmir is their forefather’s property, but it is not, it is no longer’, Tsering said.