On 5th of August 2019, the President of India promulgated the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019. It revokes the special status given to Jammu & Kashmir under Article 370 and Article 35A.
A separate Bill – the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019 – was introduced to bifurcate the State into two separate union territories of Jammu and Kashmir (with legislature), and Ladakh (without legislature).
The National Commission for Scheduled Tribe had written to the Union Home Minister and Union Minister of Tribal Affairs recommending the inclusion of Ladakh under the 6th Schedule of the Constitution of India. The Union Territory of Ladakh, being predominantly a tribal region, has its own unique culture and heritage which needs to be preserved by the government for the inclusive growth and development of the diverse Indian nation.
Ladakh was once an independent Himalayan kingdom with political history dates back to 930 A.D. Ladakh constitutes about 70% of the total J&K territory with a distinct political and cultural identity of its own. Since 1949, Ladakh people have been demanding Union Territory status for their region and their demand is based on geographical, cultural, linguistic and political lines. Ladakhis do not want to involve with the anti-India movement in the Kashmir valley. Hence, people of Ladakh demand a union territory status with an elected legislature to run their own affairs and safeguard their interests.
The Madras High Court has recently ruled that the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) of Puducherry should not interfere with the day-to-day administration of the Union Territory when an elected government is in place.
The court argued that the continued interference from the L-G would amount to running a “Parallel government”.