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Govt scraps Art 370, moves to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two UTs

The Upper House also passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill, 2019 by voice vote. The Bill seeks to make Jammu and Kashmir a Union Territory with the legislature and Ladakh Union Territory without legislature. 

The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill 2019 having provisions of 10 per cent reservation for Economically Weaker Sections of upper caste in the state was also passed by the Rajya Sabha.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced the decision in the Rajya Sabha, which approved both the resolution and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation bill.

Both will now come up in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

According to the resolution moved by the Home minister, Article 370 ceases to be operative from Monday itself. 

“The president on the recommendation of Parliament is pleased to declare as from 5th of August 2019, all clauses of the said Article 370 shall cease to be operative… ,” the resolution stated.

Amit Shah also moved a bill proposing bifurcation of J-K into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir division and Ladakh.

Home Minister said the union territory in Ladakh will have no legislature like Chandigarh. The other union territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature like Delhi and Puducherry, where key subjects like law and order are with the Centre.

Replying to debate on the bills and resolutions, Home Minister Amit Shah asserted that scrapping of Article 370 will benefit all sections of society in Jammu and Kashmir and bring development and check terrorism. 

Amit Shah said, development of the state could not be possible due to this Article and asked the people for five years to make  J&K the most developed state in India. 

He said Article 370 was the root of all the evils, corruption, and poverty and the main cause of terrorism in the valley.  He said, terrorism cannot be rooted out from the state without scrapping the Article. He said, it is because of this that democracy was never fully implemented, and corruption increased in the state. 

The Minister assured that Jammu and Kashmir will go back to being a state from Union Territory as soon as the situation is normal in the Valley.

Amit Shah stated that Article 370 was meant to be temporary but the previous governments did not dare to remove it due to vote bank politics. The Minister said, over 41,000 people of the state were killed in the last two decades. 

He said, BJP has always believed that Article 370 is not in the favour of people of Jammu and Kashmir. The Minister said, only three families of the state were using it to further their own interests.

Earlier, opposing the move, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad alleged that by bringing this Bill, NDA government has disintegrated the integration which had occurred in the past 20 to 30 years. He said, it would be what he called a dark day in India’s history.

Other Congress leaders Kapil Sibal and P Chidambaram also hit out at the government saying it will have adverse consequences in the future. Derek O’Brien of Trinamool Congress said the move is unconstitutional. He said it is a Black day for Parliamentary democracy. 

DMK’s Tiruchi Siva questioned the urgency of bringing the Bill when the elected government is not there. He said the decision should have been taken only after consulting the state legislation.  
Ram Gopal Yadav of Samajwadi Party also questioned the government’s move. He said, it is a decision taken in a hurry. Binoy Viswam of CPI and TK Rangarajan of CPI(M) also opposed the move. Protesting against it, JD(U) and TMC staged a walkout.

On the other hand, TDP’s K Ravindra Kumar supported the Bill saying this will lead to development and employment opportunities in Jammu and Kashmir. Supporting the Bill, Aam Aadmi Party’s Sushil Kumar Gupta said this will bring peace in Kashmir and development in the Valley will take place. 
Bahujan Samaj Party leader Satish Chandra Mishra said his party is supporting the government’s bill on removing Article 370 in the Rajya Sabha. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has praised Home Minister Amit Shah’s speech in Rajya Sabha today on Jammu and Kashmir. In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, Shah accurately highlighted the monumental injustices of the past and coherently presented the government’s vision for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Sharing the Home Minister’s speech on his Twitter handle, Modi said, the views put forth by Shah were extensive and insightful. 

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said, due to Article 370, people of Kashmir were not able to avail many benefits which citizens of other parts of the country are getting. 

In a series of tweets, Javadekar said, the government wants to provide all opportunities for development to the people of Kashmir like in other parts of the country. 
He said, the people of Kashmir want better education, development and peace in the state. 

The minister said, abolishing Article 370 is a historic step for the nation which will result in the beginning of massive development in the state. The government’s move on Article 370, said senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley, is a monumental decision towards national integration. His party colleague Ram Madhav also hailed the decision.

“What a glorious day. Finally the martyrdom of thousands starting with Dr Shyam Prasad Mukherjee for complete integration of J&K into Indian Union is being honoured and the seven decade old demand of the entire nation being realised in front of our eyes; in our lifetime…,” he tweeted.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said the government’s decisions on Jammu and Kashmir are “brave” and “very necessary” for the interest of the country, including Jammu and Kashmir.

Celebrations broke out the Shiv Sena headquarters in Mumbai’s Dadar area. Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray dubbing it as a “moment of pride” and a “historic day” for the country.

Senior officials of Ministry of External Affairs briefed the envoys of several countries, including P5 nations, in New Delhi on proposals related to Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and administrative reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir that were introduced in Parliament on Monday. 

Accordng to reports, External Affairs Ministry said, during the meeting it was, inter alia, highlighted that the proposals currently under consideration of the Parliament are internal to India. 

These are aimed at providing good governance,  social justice and economic development in Jammu and Kashmir.
 

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