Srinagar: While the Central leadership of the BJP in Leh is busy preparing for the 6th general Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) election to be held in October, most of the political forces along with all students’ bodies and civil society groups have come under one banner to boycott these polls, unless the Central government passes laws for the protection of their land and jobs for the youth.

The man who was the face of BJP and introduced the party in every corner of Ladakh, Tupstan Chewan, was recently made head of an apex body of all religious heads, and students’ bodies and they put forth demand for the sixth schedule to protect the regions’ jobs, rights, land, environment, and rich culture and to prevent mass migration.

They have named it as a people’s movement and announced a boycott of polls, urging all people of Ladakh to fight for the rights of the region and refrain from the electoral process unless the demand for the sixth schedule is met. In a written statement released to the media, in which leaders of 12 different political, religious, and student bodies have unanimously called for a boycott of the forthcoming 6th LAHDC polls scheduled to be held next month.

The poll boycott joint statement was also signed by the BJP, Leh district president Nawang Sawstan, whose party is currently ruling the region. Nawang knows that he cannot stand against his own mentor Tupstan Chewang who is heading the agitation. All the important political faces are on this platform and it is a serious challenge to the BJP leadership in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in union territory of Ladakh. It is in place to mention that Congress which has a strong base both in Leh and Kargil had asked the administration not to go ahead with the elections in view of growing pandemic and tensions in LAC. Meanwhile, there was a half-day general strike in Leh and other areas of Ladakh against the recent statement by BJP general secretary of Ladakh, Ashok Kaul, who termed the demand of extension of Sixth Schedule of Constitution for Ladakh as “nonsense.” The call was given by the Merchant Association of Leh against the anti-Ladakh statement by Kaul and described him as an outsider. Expressing shock over the comment, former MP and main face of BJP Thupstan Chewang, who is heading the people’s movement, demanded an apology from Ashok Kaul to the people of Ladakh for hurting their sentiments. Kaul’s utterances triggered massive protests in Leh.