The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and a resolution to extend President’s Rule in the state by six months effective 3 July were passed by the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
The Bill, tabled by Home Minister Amit Shah, amends the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004, and replaces an ordinance promulgated on 1 March, 2019. While the Act included socially and educationally backward classes living in areas adjoining the Actual Line of Control, the Bill sought an amendment to include those persons living in areas adjoining the International Border. The Lok Sabha approved both these resolutions on Friday.
Amit Shah said the move will benefit 3.5 lakh people living in 435 villages of Jammu — 70 villages in Kathua district, 133 villages in Sambha and 232 in Jammu. Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad extended his support to the reservation bill, urging Shah to look into granting five to six percent reservation rather than three percent.
Despite a divided Opposition, the resolution to extend President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir was approved by the Upper House even as some MPs raised doubts over the Centre’s “attempt” to delay Assembly polls in the northernmost state.
Among the parties that voiced support for the extension of President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir were RJD, JD(U), BJD, TMC, Shiv Sena and Samajwadi Party. In support, PDP’s Nazeer Ahmad Laway said “we have faith in home minister Amit Shah”.
The DMK, however, opposed it with MP Elangovan saying, "Extension of governor rule is against democracy."
Congress leader Manish Tiwari too opposed this resolution. "Kashmir issue has always been looked upon as a place that is dealing with terror and border issues. We need a paradigm shift in our approach towards Jammu and Kashmir. We need to win the people's confidence," he said.
Jammu and Kashmir National Conference MP from Anantnag, Hasnain Masoodi, said, "It will be best to hold Assembly elections and form a responsible and answerable state government in Jammu and Kashmir immediately".
CPI’s Binoy Visvam was also among the MPs that opposed the resolution, saying that the state needs dialogue and not bullets.
“You are misleading and betraying the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Keep the democracy alive,” said Congress MP from Himachal Pradesh Viplove Thakur opposing the Bill. RSP MP NK Premachandran also opposed the Presidential Rule but backed the provisions of the bill that ensured reservation.
While stressing that Jammu and Kashmir will always remain an integral part of India, Shah said that there will be no tolerance for separatists and terrorists. He said that the Narendra Modi government is working on Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s path of Jamuriyat, Kashmiriyat and Insaniyat.
Responding to Azad, Shah said, “Azad sahib, we don’t prefer ruling through President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir. With God’s grace and Modi ji’s popularity, we have enough state governments, 16 in total. So, it was due to security concerns that elections were not held.”
In his address to the Upper House that lasted over 60 minutes, Shah responded to the statements made by Opposition leaders in the House on Monday. He said that the ruling government does not decide when to hold elections and the decision to hold Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir at the end of 2019 is the Election Commission’s decision keeping in view Ramzan and Amarnath Yatra. “When the poll body takes a decision, we will ensure it is carried out in free and fair manner,” he said.
He admitted that the BJP snapped ties with PDP when it realised the latter encouraged separatism. He also assured that under the Modi government, Kashmiri Pandits will return to their land and “pray alongside the Sufis”. Responding to Azad’s statement on the misuse of Article 356, the BJP chief said that Congress has misused the Article often, including the time when it dismantled the first Communist government in Kerala in 1957.
Shah said that it is important to not just remember history but learn from it too. “After Maharaja’s treaty with Union of India, Kashmir became India’s integral part, what was the need to go to UN? Was it not a mistake? If we don’t learn from and accept our mistakes, the coming generations will also keep making mistakes. The Congress should talk about the ceasefire in 1949 when one-third of Kashmir was in Pakistan’s occupation. It would not have been a siege, it would not have been a fight, it would not have been terrorism, it would not have been about 35 thousand lives,” he said.
Lok Sabha clears Bill on quotas to fill vacancies in universities
The Lok Sabha passed the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers' Cadre) Bill, 2019. The Bill, which seeks to replace an Ordinance issued in March, will help filling about 8,000 existing vacancies in 41 central universities. The Bill proposed to make university as a unit rather than a department for the purpose of providing reservation for filling teachers' position in central education institutions.
DMK MP TR Balu gave an Adjournment Motion Notice in Lok Sabha over the “urgent need to stop Carbon project in Cauvery Basin”. Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury gave an Adjournment Motion Notice in Lok Sabha over the reduction of interest rate in small saving scheme. IUML MP ET Mohammed Basheer gave an Adjournment Motion Notice in Lok Sabha over incident of mob lynching in Jharkhand.
Jose K Mani of the Kerala Congress (M) through a Zero Hour mention tabled a proposal to snap supply of kerosene to ration card holders having electricity and cooking gas connections was opposed in the Rajya Sabha.
Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar condemned the assault on forest officers in Telangana.
During Question Hour, Union Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in the Lok Sabha that the government has no control over the steel price but keeps a tab on it to ensure there is no monopoly on trading of the metal.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur said the government has sanctioned prosecution in 366 cases for non-compliance with CSR norms under the companies law during the 2014-15 period. Thakur said the entire CSR architecture is disclosure-based and companies are required to file CSR initiatives in annual filings to the corporate affairs ministry.
The Minister of State for Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar dismissed reports of unemployment. Stating that he was ready for a discussion on the employment situation in the country, he said the government is looking into the issue of unemployment and would be coming out with a report.
BJP MP and Bhojpuri star Ravi Kishan sang a song in Bhojpuri in the Lok Sabha to draw attention to his demand for including Bhojpuri in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, the actor said Bhojpuri is spoken by over 25 crore people of the country.
LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan took the oath of office in Rajya Sabha today after being elected unchallenged from Bihar.
Updated Date: Jul 02, 2019 00:16:49 IST