‘This Is An insult’: A Missing Name Creates Political Anguish in Ladakh

Jamyang Tsering Namgyal

“I’ve been saying this for a long time that the current administration is neglecting the elected representatives but they were not listening. Now their own party men have started spilling the beans.”

TWO years after hailing the Government of India’s move to abrogate the Article 370 in Parliament, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal raised the concern over “the growing political anguish” in Ladakh.

The Member of Parliament from Ladakh lost his cool after spotting missing name of his Executive Councillor for Minority Affairs, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh, Ghulam Mehdi, on the plaque of a road inauguration on October 1.

Mehdi represents BJP in LAHDC from Tartuk area.

The young lawmaker had arrived along with Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, RK Mathur; Chief Executive Councillor (Leh), Tashi Gyalson; Defence Secretary, Ajay Kumar and Director General Border Roads, Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry, to carry out the sod-turning ceremony for the construction of Hanuthang-Handanbroke-Zungpal-Turtuk road, which will reduce the 395 km Leh-Turtuk journey to 61 km.

“This is an insult,” Namgayal lashed out at the authorities.

“The culprit should be punished. How come the names of those persons who don’t represent this area are on the plaque, while those who represent this area were skipped?”

Interestingly, this is the second time within a week when political names of the ruling party were found missing on the plagues.

Earlier on September 25, when Anurag Thakur, Information and Broadcasting Minister, inaugurated high power transmitters at one of the highest Radio Stations in the world at Humbatingla in Kargil, Feroz Ahmed Khan’s name was reportedly missing on the plaque.

Notably, Khan, who’s chief executive of LAHDC, Kargil, was accompanying Thakur throughout his Kargil visit.

“All the government agencies including CID, IB and RAW present here must send this message to PM Modi and Home Minister that people are being insulted in Ladakh,” Namgyal said.

“We’re elected representatives. People have chosen us. We don’t come from the backdoor entry. I will not stay silent on this!”

Talking to Kashmir Observer about his speech expressing political anguish, Namgyal said he has given the message and don’t want to explain it further.

Samajnay wala Samaj jaya ga (Those who needs to understand will get it),” he made it curt and hung up.

Kargil politicians.

However, politicians and political pundits from the cold desert term the outburst from a public representative of the ruling party a growing realisation of political erosion in the region since August 2019. Already, the same concern has been time and again raised by the Kargil political leadership.

“The level of frustration is such that they [BJP leaders] are now fighting for a missing name on a plaque when they should’ve fought when all their political rights were taken. Beating the chest for small things won’t work now,” Sajad Hussain Kargili, prominent political leader from Kargil, told Kashmir Observer.

“There’s no value of an elected representative under a bureaucratic rule. And this speech of the Ladakh public representative clearly shows they’re desperate for credit politics.”

Chering Dorjay, former BJP minister and ex-president of the party’s Ladakh unit, termed the MP’s outburst as “genuine”, while stating that the elected representatives are being ignored.

“I’ve been saying this for a long time that the current administration is neglecting the elected representatives but they were not listening,” Dorjay told Kashmir Observer.

“Now their own party men have started spilling the beans!”

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Auqib Javeed

Auqib Javeed is special correspondent with Kashmir Observer and tweets @AuqibJaveed

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