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Leh (Ladakh) [India], August 26 (ANI): Terming Ladakh as a land of sending out the message of peace and harmony, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla while referring to the India-China standoff in Ladakh said on Thursday said that India has always been a leader in propagating peace and it has always opposed expansionist policies and terrorism.
Speaking to ANI today, the Speaker said, "India is successful in guarding its borders. Our brave soldiers have been guarding the borders and they keep on doing so. I want to give this message that all the countries should work towards their development and strengthening democracy but they should not practice expansionist policies. India has always been against expansionist policies and terrorism. India has always been a leader in propagating peace and Ladakh is a land of giving this message of peace and harmony."
Birla who arrived in Leh today to inaugurate the Parliamentary Outreach Programme for the empowerment of Panchayati Raj Institutions in the Union Territory on August 27, while listing his priorities said, "Among my priorities in Ladakh, its geographical condition, development as per the needs of the people, this area should become self-reliant, and we can provide a new market for the producers and produce, handicrafts, the art and culture of this region in the country and the world, national and international tourists can visit the place so that people here can get employment. We also aim to develop villages and link them with cities."
Around 195 representatives of Panchayati Raj institutions are likely to physically attend the programme and Birla will also visit Pangong Lake and Nubra Valley to meet the Panchayat representatives.
Further responding to a question on the opposition's demand to hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir as soon as possible he said, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held discussions with the leaders of all parties. The government had said that they are starting a delimitation process in the union territory. The government also wants to conduct elections as soon as possible. Therefore, Panchayat elections were held so that the elected representatives of the people could be inducted into the Panchayats." (ANI)