While the Buddhist dominated Leh has burst into celebrations after the Ladakh region was granted divisional status by Governor Satya Pal Malik, people in the neighbouring Shia Muslim dominated Kargil have launched an agitation against the alleged “discrimination” and are demanding that the office of the divisional commissioner should rotate between Leh and Kargil.

Largely attended processions against the “discrimination” have become a daily routine in Kargil where all religious and political parties have joined hands to get a “fair deal” following the decision.

Stationing the divisional commissioner’s office at Leh is being justified by the state government, but, in view of the upcoming elections, the Kashmir-centric political parties do not want to let go the opportunity to use the development to exploit the popular sentiments as they justified the demand of the people of Kargil.

They have, in fact, accused the governor of pursuing BJP agenda.

Former chief ministers, Omar Abdullah (National Conference) and Mehbooba Mufti (PDP) have justified the demand of the residents of Kargil. They have also stirred another controversy by demanding divisional status for the Muslim majority areas of Doda and Kishtwar and also Rajouri and Poonch so as to reduce the jurisdiction of Jammu’s divisional commissioner.

People in Kargil were already displeased over the decision of the governor to grant the first ever cluster university for Leh, and now setting up the office of the divisional commissioner and inspector general of police there has further upset them.

Political compulsion is also being viewed behind the “pampering” of the Leh region where the sitting BJP MP Chhewang Thuptsan and several other party leaders had resigned from their posts and also from the BJP to protest against the failure of the party to fulfill the election promises.

BJP leaders in Leh were organising celebrations in a bid to showcase the achievement of the divisional status. They claim that Leh was centrally located in the cold desert region whereas Kargil was just near the Kashmir valley. On the other hand, the BJP activists in Kargil have threatened to resign against the move.

Acting chief executive councillor of Kargil’s Autonomous Hill Development Council, Nasir Hussain Munshi, has threatened that the council will launch a civil disobedience movement against the governor’s decision.

Mehbooba has accused Governor Malik of “peddling” BJP’s agenda. She tweeted, “Keeping HQ permanently at one place is total discrimination with the other area, so the best option is to keep the HQ at both Leh and Kargil on rotational basis.

“Creation of a separate administrative division for Leh is a welcome step. However ignoring Pir Panchal & Chenab valley raises questions about the Centre’s intention. Seems like Guv sb is peddling BJPs agenda by ignoring other equally deserving regions.”

Criticising Governor Malik for his “pick and choose” policy, Omar Abdullah tweeted, “We will take care of regional & sub-regional aspirations. We won’t adopt the pick & choose approach of the Governor but will instead take a holistic view & address the wider problems. Our regional autonomy document will be our template.

“After the elections of 2019 should the people of J&K repose faith in @JKNC_  our government will grant division status to Chenab valley & Pir Panchal regions as already laid out in our regional autonomy promise.