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Announcement on parts of Sixth Schedule status to Ladakh during Home Minister Amit Shah's visit

The Sixth Schedule under Article 244 of the Constitution protects tribal populations, allowing for the creation of autonomous development councils which can frame laws on land, public health, agriculture.
Last Updated 02 March 2024, 15:46 IST

Srinagar: In a strategic move anticipated to reshape the governance landscape of cold desert Ladakh, Union Home Minister Amit Shah is likely to announce some parts of the Sixth Schedule status to the region during his scheduled visit later this month.

The Sixth Schedule under Article 244 of the Constitution protects tribal populations, allowing for the creation of autonomous development councils which can frame laws on land, public health, agriculture.

Sources told DH that major announcements for the Union Territory of Ladakh are expected during the likely visit of the Home Minister. “The visit could happen either before the imposition of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by the Election Commission of India (ECI) for Lok Sabha elections or during the poll campaign,” they said.

Ladakh was a division of Jammu and Kashmir before it was granted UT status on August 5, 2019, following the abrogation of its special status.

Sources said there is also a proposal for announcement of district status to Zanskar and Nubra besides further empowerment of Autonomous Hill Development Councils for Leh and Kargil before the MCC is imposed.

The Leh Apex Body (LAB) and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) are jointly demanding statehood for Ladakh, inclusion in the Sixth Schedule to give it tribal status, job reservations for local residents, and a parliamentary seat each for Leh and Kargil.

The two organisations have been leading a movement "to demand special rights for the people of Ladakh after the region was separated from Jammu and Kashmir" with the abrogation of Article 370.

There has been a round of meeting between the two organisations and a committee appointed by the Centre on December 4, 2023. “Some parts of Sixth Schedule status which are beneficial for the people of Ladakh may be implemented before the announcement of the LS polls,” sources said.

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(Published 02 March 2024, 15:46 IST)

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