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BJP government ended discrimination with Ladakh, people now know diamond in country's crown: Namgyal


ANI Politics
BJP Lok Sabha MP from Ladakh Jamyang Tsering Namgyal on Saturday hailed union territory status to Ladakh and abrogation of Article 370, saying the government ended discrimination in one stroke and people have got to know about the "diamond in the country's crown".
Speaking at India Ideas Conclave here, he said that the status of union territory (UT) will result in the flow of funds to Ladakh which will be used for development.
He alleged that Ladakh was not given proper attention under the structure that prevailed before it was turned into a UT last year.
"In Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, only four MLAs used to get elected from Ladakh out of 87. People of Ladakh were not given attention. We used to wonder whether we will ever be part of the national stream. Today, we are thankful to PM Narendra Modi and the Government of India and the nationalist people for ending this in one stroke," he said.
"Earlier, people used to say 'from Kashmir to Kanyakumari', now it is 'Karakoram to Kanyakumari'. People have got to know the diamond in the country's crown," he added.
The MP said that a narrative was set that if Article 370 is revoked from Jammu and Kashmir, there would "be a bloodbath" and no one would be there to hold the national flag.
"After Article 370 was abrogated, the world has seen people with the national flag. They were silent because there was a sense of insecurity, discrimination, a sense of non-existence and exclusiveness," he said.
The MP said apart from funds allocation, there was discrimination in governance also.
"The status of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir was finished. In Ladakh, there is a peace-loving culture and way of life is Buddhism there. This was not allowed to emerge," he said.
Namgyal said Ladakh is important from a strategic point of view as it has Pakistan and China on either side, countries with which India has had to go to war in the past.
"On one side there is radical Islam and on the other side there is communist China, both close friends of India. And Article 370 was not allowing us to join mainstream," he said.
He said during discussions in parliament, Ladakh was mentioned as land that is not fertile. "But now medicinal plants will be harvested at large scale to supply them to the world," he said.
"Akshai Chin was allowed to go saying that it was barren. But they never thought, if we would have had (with us) 45,000 square km then we would have supplied solar energy to the world. The security of Ladakh is not important for people there but for the country as well," he added.
He took a jibe at the budgetary allocation to Ladakh prior to it turning to union territory.
"Many people say that people of Ladakh are honest and don't do corruption. I jokingly used to say have they given us any money to do any corruption," he said as the audience burst into laughter.
"Only two per cent of Jammu and Kashmir's budget was being given to Ladakh. And only this amount was used to develop 60,000 square km area. That is not only for Ladakh but for the security of borders. How will any do corruption in this amount? " he added.
The MP said that after the abrogation of Article 370 and the formation of the new Union Territory, there are talks of Rs 6,000 crore for development. "Now, the challenge before us is to show how honest the people of Ladakh are," he said.
Namgyal ended his speech with 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' slogan.
The government last year bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories and also abrogated Article 370, which gave special powers to the erstwhile state. Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir formally became UTs on October 31 last year.

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First Published: Feb 29 2020 | 5:53 PM IST

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