No Article 370 of Constitution which accords special status to Jammu & Kashmir
New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a crucial Union Cabinet meet ahead of Amit Shah’s announcement in the Parliament on Monday.
The government on Monday moved a resolution in the Rajya Sabha to repeal Article 370 of the Constitution which accords special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Union minister Amit Shah also moved a bill proposing bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir division and Ladakh.
As tensions mounted in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced in the Rajya Sabha that Article 370 will be revoked from the day of the President’s assent. After Amit Shah proposed that the regulation under Article 370 will not be applicable after Presidential nod, the Rajya Sabha witnessed massive uproar with the Opposition slamming the Centre over the move.
Amit Shah said Article 370 was used as “vote bank politics” and the earlier governments lacked the political will to revoke it. “But the Modi government has the political will and we are not bothered about vote bank politics,” Amit Shah said.
He asked the opposition members to have a debate on the resolution and said there should not be a delay “even one second” in revoking Article 370.
Hitting out at the Centre, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said, By revoking Article 370 that accords special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP government has murdered the Constitution of India.
“Opposition leaders are saying that Article 370 brought Jammu and Kashmir to India. But the fact is that the Maharaja Hari Singh signed on October 27, 1947 (the Instrument of Accession) while Article 370 came into existence in 1949. So this is wrong to say that Article 370 brought Jammu and Kashmir with India,” Amit Shah responsded to Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Ahead of the announcement, the Kashmir issue rocked the Rajya Sabha as Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad raised the matter. “Entire Kashmir is under curfew. It’s a war-like situation. Three CMs are under house arrest. That should be discussed first,” senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said in the Rajya Sabha.
Bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir :
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also proposed to a bill to split the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories: Jammu and Kashmir.
Making the historic announcement in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, Amit Shah said the government had proposed to reorganise Jammu and Kashmir carving out two separate Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
He said this had been done in view of constant threats of cross-border terrorism.
The Union Territory of Ladakh was a long-pending demand of the people of the region and the decision was aimed at fulfilling the aspiration of the local population, Amit Shah said.
What is Article 370 ?
Article 370 has been the bone of contention between the state’s politicians and the BJP. The controversial article deals with special powers conferred upon the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
It allows the state constituent Assembly to make its own Constitution, thereby giving it an autonomous state power.
Apart from the autonomy, Article 370 also lends other powers such as the need of concurrence of the state government if the central government plans to make amendments to the concurrent list of subjects.
MODI CHAIRS CRUCIAL CABINET MEET :
Earlier, the crucial Union Cabinet met at the official residence of Prime Minister in New Delhi on Monday morning. The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was held at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg in New Delhi.
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) members arrived at the PM residence around 9.30 am on Monday morning with Union minister Amit Shah, NSA Ajit Doval in attendance at the high-level meeting. Ahead of the cabinet meeting, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad met Home Minister Amit Shah before heading to 7, Lok Kalyan Marg for the Cabinet meeting.
KASHMIR ON EDGE :
Tensions intensified in the strife-torn state after Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Sajad Lone were put under house arrest as the authorities imposed restrictions in multiple districts in the state.
“I believe I’m being placed under house arrest from midnight tonight & the process has already started for other mainstream leaders. No way of knowing if this is true but if it is then I’ll see all of you on the other side of whatever is in store,” National Conference leader Omar Abdullah had tweeted.
“To the people of Kashmir, we don’t know what is in store for us but I am a firm believer that whatever Almighty Allah has planned it is always for the better, we may not see it now but we must never doubt his ways. Good luck to everyone, stay safe & above all PLEASE STAY CALM,” Omar had said.
Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti said, “How ironic that elected representatives like us who fought for peace are under house arrest. The world watches as people & their voices are being muzzled in J&K. The same Kashmir that chose a secular democratic India is facing oppression of unimaginable magnitude. Wake up India.”
Officials said former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti would not be allowed to move out of their respective house in view of the restrictions, while Congress leader Usman Majid and CPI(M) MLA M Y Tarigami claimed to have been arrested around midnight.
The government imposed restrictions under Section 144 CrPC in Srinagar district with effect from midnight.
Earlier, the administration called off the Amarnath Yatra in an unprecedented move and asked all tourists to leave the state immediately.
– India today