Bill seeking to bifurcate Jammu & Kashmir passed in Rajya Sabha

Jammu and Kashmir sans Ladakh will now be a Union Territory with a legislature. Ladakh will also be a UT without a legislature. 

Published: 05th August 2019 10:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th August 2019 07:32 PM   |  A+A-

Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu (Photo | PTI)

By Online Desk

NEW DELHI: Rajya Sabha passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill on Monday seeking to divide the state of J&K into two Union Territories — Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir. 

Earlier in the day, home minister announced in the Parliament the scrapping of Article 370, which gave J&K a special status. 

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. 

“The Article 370, notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this article, the President may, by public notification, declare that this article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with such exceptions and modifications and from such date as he may specify: Provided that the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State referred to in clause (2) shall be necessary before the President issues such a notification,” read out Shah in the ruckus in the Upper House of Parliament.

As Shah was reading his statements, sentiments ran high in the house. The opposition was shouting, a copy of the Indian constitution was torn and the opposition even went on to sit in the well of the house. PDP's RajyaSabha MPs Nazir Ahmad Laway was the one who tore a copy of constitution and was marshalled out along with party MP MM Fayaz. 

Another member unbuttoned his shirt and sloganeering continued to protest the introduction of resolution to abrogate Article 370 and reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir by Home Minister Amit Shah. 

PDP MP Nazeer Ahmed Laway and Mohammed Faiyaz protest outside the Parliament House in New Delhi on Monday. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

Home Minister Amit Shah said in his statement that there is a provision in article 370 that allows president authority in this regards.

"Twice efforts have been made in 1952 and 1962 to do the same. We can pass this with majority in house," Shah told the house following members raised objections.

Ghulam Nabi Azad countering Shah's address said, "Entire valley is under curfew, political leaders including three former chief ministers are under house arrest. There is a war-like situation in the state, so this should be discussed on priority"

The groundbreaking announcement came soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a cabinet meeting at his residence this morning. 

HIGHLIGHTS: 

  • Jawaharlal Nehru Ji also said "370 ghiste-ghiste ghis jaayegi", magar 370 ko itne jatan se sambhalke rakha, 70 saal hue, ghisi nahi. Everyone accepts it's a temporary provision, but can temporary continue for 70 years, when will it go, how will it go: Amit Shah

  • Full state status will be restored to Jammu and Kashmir at the appropriate time; when normalcy returns: Home Minister.

  • Terrorism cannot be eliminated from Jammu and Kashmir till Article 370 is there: Home Minister

  • You stand here in Parliament and say bloodshed will happen in Kashmir. What message are you sending to the Valley? You want them to continue living in 18th century system, don't ppl there have right to live in the 21st century? Those who provoke have kids studying in London and US: Amit Shah 

  • Right to Education is not implemented in Kashmir; why  should valley children not get the benefit of education: Home Minister

  • Ghulam Nabi Azad said inter-state marriages are taking place. If a J&K girl marries a man from Odisha, will she and her child get any rights in J&K? You're happy that inter-state marriages are taking place, even though there is no law, but set them free, J&K will mix with India in true sense: Amit Shah

  • Ayushman Bharat scheme is there but where are the hospitals? Where are doctors and nurses? (in Kashmir) Those supporting 35A please tell me which famous doctor will go and live there and practice? He can't own land or house nor his children can vote: Shah

  • Only a few chosen families gained from Article 370. The integration will create jobs in Kashmir: Amit Shah

  • Home Minister Amit Shah tables the Constitution (application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order 2019 in Lok Sabha

  • It is something the country has been waiting for the last 70 years. Even our manifesto mentioned the need to abrogate Article 370, so it is not something we brought out suddenly like a rabbit from a magic hat: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

  • Kapil Sibal: Today we should think about why we're here and what should democracy involve. I know Bill will be passed as you have manufactured a majority, therefore, we can do nothing about it. While you call this a historic moment, only history will judge whether it was historic or not.

  • Congress member P Chidambaram while calling it a sad day, says "Momentarily you may think you have scored a victory, but you are wrong and history will prove you to be wrong. Future generations will realize what a grave mistake this house is making today. We are reducing States to municipal administration. Today, you have reduced States to colonies. How can you modify an Article using the same Article."

  • BJP's Jitendra Singh says Article 370 was a miscarriage in history. The common man in Srinagar is rejoicing, he says. We have no right to deprive J&K to be a part of this global world.

  • Nationalist Congress Party MP Vandana Chavan in Rajya Sabha: The NCP will abstain from voting on this bill.

  • Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh: Constitution of India had been rewritten without following any legal provisions. Such a historic decision should not have been taken and pushed through in this arbitrary manner.

  • Calling today a Black Monday, TMC's Derek O'Brien says “Tomorrow Bengal can become four States, or Odisha can become, what's your lucky number, seven States. Or worse you could become a UT. What we saw was a mockery of Parliament.”

  • NSA Ajit Doval is expected to visit Kashmir valley today along with other senior security officials to review the situation on ground. NSA Doval had earlier visited Srinagar in last week of July before the implementation of decision to revoke Article 370. 

  • Ghulam Nabi Azad,Congress in Rajya Sabha: Shameful that you have turned J&K into a non-entity by making a Lt Governor there, so that you can appoint even a peon or a clerk, sitting here (Delhi).

  • Close to 8,000 paramilitary troops airlifted and moved in from Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Assam and other parts of the country to the Kashmir valley. The induction is still going on. Indian Army and Indian Air Force have been put on high alert, following revoking of Article 370 and other decisions announced by the Centre.

  • The United Nations has appealed to both India and Pakistan for maximum restraint along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Kashmir region. Quoting the UN Secretary-General's Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, Radio Pakistan said the appeal has been made to both the neighbouring countries. He also said that the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan has reported an increase in military activity at the LoC recently, reported ANI. 

While some political parties welcomed the 'historic decision', a section of leaders slammed the government's decision calling it a failure and murder of democracy.

Darkest day in Indian democracy: Mehbooba

Among the first to slam the historic decision was former J-K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti. The PDP leader who is reportedly under house arrest said, "Today marks the darkest day in Indian democracy. Decision of J&K leadership to reject 2 nation theory in 1947 & align with India has backfired. Unilateral decision of GOI to scrap Article 370 is illegal & unconstitutional which will make India an occupational force in J&K."

Statement of Omar Abdullah, Vice-President of National Conference and ex-CM of J&K 

BJP has murdered constitution: Ghulam Nabi Azad

Congress' Ghulam Nabi Azad also pulled no punches "I strongly condemn the act of PDP's Mir Fayaz and Nazir Ahmed Laway who attempted to tear constitution. We stand by the constitution of India. We will sacrifice our lives to protect the Indian constitution, but today BJP has murdered constitution," he said. A border state, which is culturally, geographically, historically&politically different was bound together by Article 370. Drunk in power and to get votes, BJP govt scrapped 3-4 things. They've cut off head of the country. Political parties will fight&stand with J&K.

This is a day of shame, shame, shame: MDMK leader Vaiko

You have played with the sentiments of people of Kashmir. When additional army personnel were deployed there, I was worried. Kashmir should not become Kosovo, East Timor and South Sudan. I am opposing this Bill (Article 370). This is a day of shame, shame, shame...this is murder of democracy.

Former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee: I don't think there is anything revolutionary here. It's a political decision even though it is not a wise decision. 

Constitution expert Subhash Kashyap: I can only say, constitutionally it is sound, no legal & constitutional fault can be found in it. Govt has carefully studied the matter. As for the question, if it's a political decision, I have nothing to say on that.

Sharad Pawar, NCP said, "I think Govt of India should have taken them (leaders of the valley) into confidence which unfortunately the govt didn't do. And then they should have taken the decision to revoke 370.

AIADMK's support is condemnable: Stalin

DMK President Stalin, said, "Without consulting people of Jammu and Kashmir, Article 370 has been taken away. Democracy has been murdered. AIADMK is also supporting the decision which is condemnable."

You're creating another Palestine: TK Rangarajan

CPI(M) leader TK Rangarajan said, "It's black day. Indian constitution has been raped by BJP govt. You didn't consult people of J&K-Ladakh. You dissolved Assembly, you don't want to hold any election. You've taken another 35000 Army people there. You're creating another Palestine."

Among the prominent supporters of the government's move to axe Article 370 are Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Tamil Nadu's AIADMK, Shiv Sena.

A. Navaneethakrishnan, AIADMK MP in Rajya Sabha: Amma is well known for upholding sovereignty and integrity. So AIADMK party supports the two resolutions, Reorganisation Bill & the Reservation Bill.

BSP MP Satish Chandra Mishra announced his party's  "complete support" to the bill. We want that the Bill be passed. Our party is not expressing any opposition to Article 370 Bill & the other Bill, Mishra said in RS. 

BJP MP from Ladakh Jamyang Tsering Namgyal said, I welcome the Bill on behalf of everyone in Ladakh. People there wanted the region to be a Union Territory. People in Ladakh wanted that the region be freed from the dominance and discrimination of Kashmir, that is happening today.

BJD MP Prasanna Acharya said, "In real sense today, Jammu & Kashmir has become a part of India. My party supports this resolution. We are a regional party but for us nation is first."

Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut: Today Jammu and Kashmir has been taken. Tomorrow we will take Balochistan and PoK. I am confident that we will fulfil PM's dream of 'Undivided India'.

Courageous step: RSS

Welcoming the 'courageous step' by the government, Rashtriya Sevak Sangh said, "This was very essential for interest of J&K as well as the entire country. Rising from selfish motives and political differences, everyone should welcome and support this move."

JD (U) leader KC Tyagi said, Our chief Nitish Kumar is carrying forward the tradition of JP Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia & George Fernandes. So our party is not supporting the Bill moved in the Rajya Sabha today. We have different thinking. We want that Article 370 should not be revoked.

What was Article 370 which government scrapped today. 

A morning of many meetings

Cabinet meetings generally take place on Wednesdays, though there are instances when it has been called on other days to consider important issues.

READ MORE | Opposition parties meet to discuss security situation in Jammu and Kashmir

In Monday's extraordinary meeting, Shah reportedly briefed the Cabinet about the J&K situation and measures taken to address challenges posed by alleged Pakistan sponsored terrorism.

Before the Cabinet meet, the PM reportedly chaired a meeting of the Cabinet committee on security. 

According to media reports, Amit Shah also had a one-on-one meeting with the Prime Minister.

Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad met the Home Minister Amit Shah ahead of the Cabinet meeting, with the government likely to table legislative proposal to give effect to decision concerning the state.

READ MORE | Sec 144 imposed in Srinagar; J-K leaders including Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti under house arrest

The cabinet meeting was scheduled with just three days of the Budget session of Parliament remaining. BJP leaders, however, argued that the security build-up is to “scorch remnants of terrorism in the Valley ahead of the Assembly polls.”

Meanwhile, the state has become a fortress with deployment of over 38,000 additional security forces. Senior political leaders from the Valley have been put under house arrest. The internet and telephonic services have also been disconnected in the valley.

(with agency inputs)

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