The recent resignation of MP Thupstan Chhewang, stating the reason that the BJP has failed to fulfil the promises made during the 2014 elections, makes it clear that all the promises made were empty rhetoric. The resignation may shake up the political dynamics of Ladakh.
The BJP leaders had fooled Ladakhis by announcing that Ladakh would get UT status within six months. Now when the tenure of the ruling party is about to end and the people have understood, though late, it was all gimmick and lies. We can now clearly see that the ‘Acche din’ of the party is turning into ‘Bure Din’ for them in Ladakh, and that too ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Over the last three years, the BJP in Ladakh has seen many ups and downs, starting with the appointment of the Chief Executive Councillor when the BJP won the Hill Council election with a majority. The crisis of leadership and interference from outsiders has been the reason for all the troubles in the party. The reshuffling of the Chairman thrice, the internal rift within the party and the fight for the chair has further worsened the situation. It is clear now that public opinion in Ladakh has turned against the BJP. The recent removal of the CEC, Dorjey Mutup, has made the matter worse and angered party supporters and fuelled doubts amongst the leaders across parties and the general public.
The BJP started facing setbacks when they lost the Thiksay constituency to the Congress which the party had never won since 1995, when the Hill Council, Leh, was established. The recent MC election in which the Congress won all the 13 wards clearly validates the point that the BJP is lagging behind on people’s expectations.
Another big reason why the opinion of the people has started turning against the BJP is that even after the Prime Minister himself had visited Ladakh twice since 2014, the government failed to fulfil the promises made.
P.Stobdan, former ambassador, has rightly written in Tribune, in an article, titled, ‘Disillusioned Ladakh seeks to search within’, that the present situation is an early sign of how Ladakh is likely to get torn apart by factional strife. People are indulging in petty and divisive politics to the detriment of social cohesion and unity. Confusion among people is palpable. The balance and maturity that existed in Ladakhi society seem to be fast receding.
What we need is a common platform for all the political parties to keep our aspirations alive which was never heard of, or given any importance at the Centre and state level. Instead of playing petty politics, our leaders should learn to play healthy politics which has been the culture of Ladakh.
The BJP at the Centre and state not only deceived MP Thupstan, they have also been playing with the sentiments of the people of Ladakh.
A closer look at the MC election results also shows that there are signs of revival of the Congress, and there are reasons for the BJP to worry about its position in the 2019 elections. This development has opened up many possibilities for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Thupstan Chhewang has written a letter to the Prime Minister, accusing his party of doing nothing towards the fulfilling of the promises they had made during the 2014 campaign in Ladakh. The State BJP leader’s false statement on the MP’s resignation is condemnable and should be taken seriously. Such action clearly proves that there is something fishy going on in the party. Everything that happened or done so far was in a very hush-hush manner.
Thupstan Chhewang certainly has credibility and is the face of the BJP in the region. At the practical level, the focus is on whether Thupstan Chhewang’s exit will fuel instability in the party. His decision to quit could lead the party into a “great trouble.”