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Article 370 revoked: Shah lauds Modi for 'unwavering commitment' towards ensuring India's unity, integrity

Amit Shah and Narendra modi. Photograph:( IANS )

ANI New Delhi Aug 05, 2019, 11.06 PM (IST)

Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his "unwavering commitment" towards ensuring the unity and integrity of the country.

"Today, Modi govt has corrected a long-overdue historic wrong. I congratulate PM @narendramodiji for his unwavering commitment towards ensuring unity and integrity of our motherland. This historic decision will usher in a new dawn of peace and development in J&K and Ladakh region," Shah tweeted shortly after The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 was passed by Rajya Sabha.

The Home Minister stressed that this decision will ensure that there will no more be a system of "do nishan, do samvidhan" in Jammu and Kashmir.

Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir was on Monday scrapped, along with Article 35 (A), as Rajya Sabha passed a momentous bill that bifurcates the state into two Union Territories in far-reaching decisions taken by the BJP-led central government.

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A resolution removing the special status of the state under Article 370 was approved by the Rajya Sabha on Monday with Home Minister Amit Shah saying the constitutional provision was the "root cause of terrorism" in the state, and the Modi government was committed to making the state the most progressive in the country.

The Jammu & Kashmir (Reorganisation) Bill, 2019, which strips Jammu and Kashmir's status of a state and converts it into a Union Territory with legislature and carving out Ladakh region as a UT without legislature, was passed in a division pressed by the opposition with 125 votes in favour and 61 against, and an NCP member abstained.

After the passage of the bill, Prime Minister Narendra Modi went up to Shah and congratulated him.

Taking opposition by surprise, the reorganisation bill and the resolution to repeal Article 370 were tabled in the House amidst uproarious scenes with major opposition parties stiffly resisting it. The opposition complained that they had not got advance information about the bill.

Shortly after Shah tabled a resolution to this effect in Rajya Sabha, President Ram Nath Kovind came out with a notification - The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019 that will come into force immediately.

Responding to concerns of members about the bifurcation of the state into Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, Shah said the government had no objection to restoring statehood once the situation in the militancy-torn state gets normalised.

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"I want to assure the House that whenever normal situation returns, right time comes, we have no objection in making it a state," Shah said amidst thumping of desks by the ruling side members.

Shah said Article 370 was the biggest obstacle to ending terrorism and due to it, democracy never took root in Jammu and Kashmir, corruption flourished, poverty sustained and no socio-economic infrastructure could come up.

Shah said Article 370 holds no benefits for the youth of the state and is discriminatory on the basis of gender, class, caste and place of origin.

He also said the provision was temporary and asked if it should have taken 70 years to repeal it. "It only required political will, which only the present government had," he said.

"Now, the moment this resolution is passed and Article 370 is removed, each child would get right of education and each patient would get free healthcare under Ayushman Bharat. It has to go in the larger interest of the people of Jammu and Kashmir," he said.

He said the bill was historic and politics of vote bank has looted the youth of the state for over 70 years. "Politics of religion must be avoided at all costs. Article 370 is equally harmful to people of all religions," he said.

Referring to Article 35 (A), Shah said daughters of the state marrying outside the state lose their rights to the property. "It is so discriminatory to the women and their children."

He said the path to a solution to all the problems of Kashmir goes through the repealing of Article 370.

Shah said that post the repeal of Article 370, doors to private investment would be opened, which would, in turn, increase the potential for development there. "Increased investments would lead to increased job creation and further betterment of socio-economic infrastructure in the state."

Remembering the sacrifice of civilians and soldiers, who lost their lives during 1989-2018, Shah said had Article 370 not been there, these people wouldn't have lost their lives.

He said Article 370 impedes people from outside the state to do business there. "Absence of economic competition has prevented development and corruption flourished.

Land prices are at rock bottom because no one can buy land there. No industry, including tourism, is allowed to flourish there. People remain poor in perpetuity despite the presence of abundant economic opportunities for the local populace," he said.

"We want to embrace the youth of Jammu and Kashmir and give them flourishing opportunities for employment. Even a separate bill for reservation for economically backward classes would not be required if the resolution is passed in both houses as the provision will get automatically applied to Jammu and Kashmir, as in rest of India".

Shah said there was no need to amend the constitution in repealing Article 370 and under Article 370(3), there is a provision that the President, on the recommendation of the Parliament, has the power to amend or cease the implementation of Article 370, through a public notification.

In all, the House approved two resolutions and two bills.

 

 

Story highlights

The Home Minister stressed that this decision will ensure that there will no more be a system of 'do nishan, do samvidhan' in Jammu and Kashmir.