Addressing an election rally here, Home Minister Rajnath Singh also said that several development schemes could not be implemented in the region due to Article 370 and urged people to vote for BJP which promises to implement the 73rd Amendment in the state.
"China has illegally occupied Aksai Chin and incursions by Chinese troops does not augur well in maintaining cordial relations with our neighbour," he said, adding that New Delhi wants to maintain good relations with its neighbours but its gesture should be reciprocated.
Singh said relations between the two countries could touch new heights if there is a "positive action and resolution of complicated issues like border dispute".
He said Pakistan "gifted away" Aksai Chin area to China and the previous National Conference-led state Government never cared, as for it and the UPA government Ladakh was nothing more than a "cold desert".
China never shared its boundary in Jammu and Kashmir with India at the time of independence of the country and because of the wrong policies of Congress government the country has become India's neighbour, he said, adding that Tibet acted as a 'buffer state' between the two nations.
The Minister said his party considers J&K and Ladakh "close to its heart" and took a dig at Congress saying India lost precious territory to China only because of wrong policies of the previous UPA government.
He was here to rally for BJP candidate Chering Dorzey, who is contesting against sitting Congress MLA and Minister Nawang Rigzin Zora, and elections for this Assembly segment will be held in the first phase on November 25.
Singh said several schemes could not be implemented in the region because of Article 370 and that Ladakh was neglected by successive PDP and NC governments in the state.
"There are certain parties which raise the issue of Article 370 during elections as they want to create a sense of fear among certain voters. Those parties should discuss the issues of governance and development in the state," he said.
The Minister said the 73rd Amendment, giving financial power to grassroots-level bodies, could not be implemented by the NC government.
"The Centre cannot implement it directly in the state due to Article 370. Therefore, vote for BJP which is willing to implement the 73rd Amendment in the state," Singh said.
On Article 370, the Minister said it is a national issue and there should be extensive debate over its utility.
Singh pitched for strengthening trade relations between India and China, saying the two nations share good trade ties with total trade crossing USD 65 billion.
It can be enhanced to USD 100 billion if the two countries strengthen its ties through mutual respect and trust. "New trade routes could be opened and even the old Silk Route could be revived," he said.
Singh said Ladakh can emerge as an attractive global tourist destination if the area is developed keeping this vision in mind. It can also became an important centre for Buddhist and other Oriental learnings.

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