Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha on Monday announced that the Indian government has taken a decision to revoke Article 370 of The Indian Constitution which provides a special status to J&K. The decision also includes bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories. Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, where J&K will have a legislature and Ladakh will not.
A massive uproar was followed after Shah’s announcement with opposition MP’s protesting in the Well of the House. Back in Kashmir, the most influential politicians- Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Sajjad Lone are under house arrest amidst a heavy security-in the state. Public gatherings have been banned since midnight, a result of an imposition of section 144 in Srinagar. Internet and Mobile services have also been suspended.
A series of tweets have been followed since this decision is announced.
AP has too extended its support to the Centre’s resolution on abolishing Article 370.
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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s PTI has officially condemned the announcements made by India on abolishing Article 370, saying that no unilateral step by the Government of India can change this disputed status, as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
What is Article 370 and 35 A?
The parliament needs the approval of Jammu and Kashmir government for applying laws in the state. Exceptions are defence, foreign affairs, communications and finance.
The law of citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights of the residents of Jammu & Kashmir are different from the residents living in rest of India. Under Article 370, citizens from other states cannot buy property in Jammu & Kashmir. Under Article 370, the Centre has no power to declare financial emergency.
Article 35A allows the Jammu & Kashmir Legislature full discretionary power to decide who the ‘permanent residents’ of the state are. It provides them special rights and privileges regarding employment with the state government, acquisition of property in the state, settling in the state, and the right to scholarships and other forms of aid that the state government provides. It also gives them the state legislature to impose any restrictions upon persons other than the permanent residents regarding the above.
To guarantee these special rights and privileges, the Article says no act of the state legislature that comes under it can be challenged for violating the Constitution or any other laws.
How is removal of 370 and 35A sections important?
one nation one constitution
The idea of one nation one constitution is promoted by this move of NDA led govt. The equal right of the citizens of union of India is restored by this move.
Development to state
It is believed that these sections were roadblocks to the development of the state. Now the industries and traders will be able invest into state without any hassle as it was happening in other parts on India.
Unrest in valley:
Some of the section of leaders and people of Kashmir are finding it as an attack on sovereignty of the state and calling it as unconstitutional. This may escalate the tension in J&K
The relatively peaceful region has long been suffering the brunt of terrorism. The union territory status brings more focused development plans to region.