Parliament LIVE updates: 'I want to make it clear in front of the House that due to the removal of Article 370, there will be an end to long bloodshed in Kashmir': Home Minister Amit Shah said in Rajya Sabha.
Parliament LATEST updates: The Rajya Sabha voted in favour of the J&K Reorganisation Bill 2019 with 125 votes in favour and 61 votes in against. Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu then adjourned the house till 11 am Tuesday. Voting has begun for the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill in the Rajya Sabha.
The voting was expected to take place electronically, however, it was cancelled due to technical problem. Rajya Sabha chariman Venkaiah Naidu then asked for voting via slips.
'I want to make it clear in front of the House that due to the removal of Article 370, there will be an end to long bloodshed in Kashmir': Home Minister Amit Shah said in Rajya Sabha.
Amit Shah has introduced the resolution on Jammu and Kashmir in the Lok Sabha. The resolution is officially titled the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019.
Congress' Kapil Sibal said, "I know the 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."
Former home minister P Chidambaram asked, "How can you use Article 370 to modify Article 370? It can only be used to modify other parts of the Constitution. By doing this, you are unleashing forces that you cannot control."
SP MP Ram Gopal Yadav asks why the government did not consult stakeholders. "You could've just scrapped Article 370, why was it necessary to make it the state a Union Territory," he said in Rajya Sabha. He also took a dig at the Aam Aadmi Party asking them why they are supporting the bill though thet cried every day due to Delhi's Lt. Governor.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad said he thought the House would be discussing the J&K Reservation Bill, but never thought this would happen with the state of Jammu and Kashmir. "You could've brought the Bill after the Assembly election, he said alleging the government of threatening the unity and integrity of the state for "votes".
DMK MP called the proposal to abolish Article 370 "unconstitutional and unwarranted". He quoted the Supreme Court verdict saying that Article 370 is permanent. He asked if the Centre did public consultation or legislative members were consulted. "Tomorrow, you can convert any State into a Union Territory," Siva remarked saying that the government's move sets "dangerous precedence". He urged the government to wait till the state legislature is constituted.
Calling it a 'great day', BJP MP Subramanian Swamy said that the Leader of Opposition "doesn't know the law". He quoted Article 370 and said that Jammu and Kashmir stands as a part of India without Article 370. "Article 370 died the day Kashmiri Pandits were driven out of Kashmir," he said.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, " We have destroyed a Bhasmasur with the scrapping for Article 370." Raut said that the dream of Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Bal Thackeray has been fulfilled now.
Supporting the move by the govt, BJD MP Prasanna Acharya in the Parliament said that the state of Kashmir became 'part of India' in 'real sense' today. "In reality, the state of Jammu and Kashmir today became an integral part of India", BJD MP Prasanna Acharya said in Rajya Sabha. "My party supports this resolution. We are a regional party but for us nation is first," he added.
Amid the uproar in the Parliament, Amit Shah justified the repeal of Article 370. The home minister said, "The people of Jammu and Kashmir are not getting any benefits. The politicians are allowing corruption to flourish. Article 370 never helped Jammu and Kashmir join India. Jammu and Kashmir was already a part of India much before Article 370. Article 370 was accepted with the idea that it will eventually be removed but no political party had the will to do it."
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has moved a proposal to remove all provisions of Article 370 in the Rajya Sabha. The government has also proposed to make both Ladakh and Jammu separate Union Territories. The govt has proposed separate legislatures for Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
Even as tensions in Jammu and Kashmir are on the rise following the additional deployment of troops in the state, Union home minister Amit Shah is set to introduce a bill in the Rajya Sabha on a less contentious topic related to the state — reservation for economically weaker sections. The proposed legislation — the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 — was approved by the Union Cabinet on 31 July.
Moreover, Shah will address both the Houses today in wake of the prevailing tense situation in the Valley following the imposition of Section 144 and house arrest of prominent leaders such as NCP chief Omar Abdullah, former chief minister and PDP leader Mehbooba Muft and Sajad Lone. All means of communications have been snapped in Jammu and Kashmir, incliding TV networks and landlines.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to extend the 10 percent quota to economically weaker sections to the state, which has special constitutional provisions. After the bill is passed by the Parliament, all residents of the state with income below Rs 8 lakh per annum would benefit from a ten percent quota. This ten percent quota for economically weaker sections was introduced in the rest of the country through the 103rd constitutional amendment in January this year. Several state governments have implemented the reservation since then.
As an article in Greater Kashmir notes, as per the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004, the total percentage of reservation in the state cannot exceed 50 percent. The 103rd constitutional amendment can only be made applicable to the state once this provision in the Act is amended. At present, the Act provides for reservation to various categories of people, including Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (residents of Backward Area, Actual Line of Control/ International Border and Social Castes).
In January, Parliament passed the Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Act, 2019. The law allows the legislature to make any special provision for the advancement of any economically weaker sections of citizens other than those already existing under the Constitution (such as Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, etc). It also specifically mentions admission to educational institutes and appointment to posts as areas to which the provision extends.
This enabled state governments to make laws providing for reservation on the basis of people's economic condition, and several states soon passed such laws, such as Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. As income is the criterion on the basis of which a person can avail the benefit of this law, the legislation is perceived to be aimed at the poor among upper castes. The law was also perceived to have been passed with political considerations in mind, as it came just months before the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
It is this amendment which is sought to be extended to Jammu and Kashmir through the bill that Shah will table on Monday. Only days earlier, in the course of the ongoing Parliament session, the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed by both the Lok Sabha (28 June) and Rajya Sabha (1 July).
The bill paves the way for people living near the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir to get the benefit of reservation in jobs, promotion, and educational institutions on par with those living along the Actual Line of Control (ALoC). On the bill becoming a law, people living in the districts of Jammu, Samba and Kathua will stand to benefit. Interestingly, the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was the first legislative business conducted by Amit Shah after his election to the Lok Sabha