Special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution has been removed by a presidential order that would come into force “at once”, Home Minister Amit Shah said in parliament.
Amit Shah also introduced a bill to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, which was passed in the Rajya Sabha. Prepping for any trouble in the state after the announcement, the centre moved 8,000 paramilitary troops from different parts of the country to Kashmir, in addition to nearly 35,000 personnel moved in the past week.
Amit Shah also said the government was moving a bill to bifurcate the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories — Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. While the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir would have a legislature, Ladakh would not.
- Article 370 gave Jammu and Kashmir its own constitution and decision-making rights for all matters barring defence, communications and foreign affairs. Its removal ends special status for Kashmir, which was key to its accession to India in 1947.
- Article 370 made it necessary for the centre to get the state legislature’s approval for introducing any policies or constitutional powers to the state.
The government received support from parties like ally Shiv Sena and even from rival leaders like Chandrababu Naidu, Arvind Kejriwal and Mayawati. BJP ally Nitish Kumar’s party was among those who opposed the move but helped by boycotting the vote.
- A UT with a legislature, like Delhi, has a partial statehood status, an elected CM and a council of ministers.
- Lieutenant Governor in such a UT acts on aid and recommendation of council of ministers but doesn’t need their approval on every matter.
- A UT without a legislature, like Chandigarh, is ruled directly by Centre and doesn’t have a CM.
Points to Remember
- J&K has been reorganised into two Union territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
- Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature like Delhi and Puducherry, where key subjects like law and order are with the Centre.
- Ladakh will have no legislature like Chandigarh.
- The Governor of Jammu and Kashmir will now become a Lieutenant Governor.