New Delhi, Aug 05 : Home Minister Amit Shah has announced in Rajya Sabha that the government has decided to repeal Article 370 of the Constitution which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
The government has also decided to bifurcate the state into two Union territories – Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature, and Ladakh, which will be without a legislature.
Shah’s announcement was immediately followed by massive uproar in the Upper House with opposition MPs protesting in the Well of the House.
The announcement came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting of his cabinet at his house this morning.
Article 370 gives Jammu and Kashmir its own constitution and decision-making rights for all matters barring defence, communications and foreign affairs.
The removal of this part of the constitution ends special status for Kashmir, which was key to its accession to India in 1947.
Article 370 made it necessary for the Centre to get the state legislature’s approval for introducing any policies or constitutional powers to the state. This in turn means that the Governor, who is being treated as the ‘State’ govt at the moment, was able to move the resolution to the President. So, 370 will be abrogated by Prez order in conjenction with passage and ratification by Parliament by a simple majority.
Jammu and Kashmir will consist of two Union Territories – Ladakh and Kashmir; the former will not have a legislature.
Making the announcement on bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir in Rajya Sabha, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the UT in Ladakh will have no legislature like Chandigarh while the other UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature like Delhi and Puducherry. Shah introduced the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation bill.
Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hailed the government’s decision to remove Article 370 and showered praises at Prime Minister and Shah for “correcting a historical blunder”. “A historical wrong has been undone today. Article 35A came through the back door without following the procedure under Article 368 of the Constitution of India. It had to go,” he says.
“What a glorious day. Finally d martyrdom of thousands starting with Dr Shyam Prasad Mukharjee for compete integration of J&K into Indian Union is being honoured and d seven decade old demand of d entire nation being realised in front of our eyes; in our life time. Ever imagined?” said senior BJP leader Ram Madhav.
PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti who has been under house arrest since midnight, has condemned the ‘unliateral’ move as ‘illegal and unconstitutional’. Highlighting how this will have catastrophic consequences, Mufti said that the government of India has failed in keeping its promises in Kashmir.
Ghulam Nabi Azad has rued that by revoking Article 370 that accords special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP-led government has murdered the Consitution of India. We stand by the constitution of India. We are willing to give up our lives for the constitution, but we condemn any act against the Constitution.