New Delhi: The government took a historic decision on Monday by revoking Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and proposed that the state be bifurcated into two union territories, i.e, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, provoking outrage from the NC and PDP. Though leaders of the ruling party were happy with the decision. Meeting a long-held promise of the BJP, Union Home Minister Amit Shah moved a resolution in the Rajya Sabha that Article 370, which allowed Jammu and Kashmir to have its own Constitution, will no longer be applicable.Shah also moved a bill proposing bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Shah, who introduced the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation bill, said, the union territory in Ladakh will have no legislature like Chandigarh. The other union territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature like Delhi and Puducherry. As soon as Shah made the announcement, members of the Congress, TMC and DMK squat on the floor of the House, one of the PDP members tore his clothes and then along with another PDP member tore copies of the Constitution, prompting Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to order that they be physically removed.
Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the entire Kashmir Valley is under curfew and three former chief ministers of the state and political leaders have been placed under house arrest. Meanwhile, Pakistan has rejected India’s step to scrap Art 370 and said that they will exercise all possible options to counter move. Pakistan wanted the situation to be discussed first, but Naidu allowed Shah to move the resolution. Shah moved the resolution to abolish Article 370 as well as the state reorganization bill along with listed bills to extend the reservation for economically weaker sections in educational institutions and government jobs in Jammu and Kashmir.
The reorganization bill provides for the formation of the union territory of Ladakh without legislature and a separate one for Jammu and Kashmir with the legislature. While Naidu said only the bill for providing reservation is being moved now and the other would be done after it is circulated to members, the House in a voice vote approved the introduction. Later Naidu allowed Shah to re-introduce the resolution and the reorganization bill, saying copies have now been circulated to members. But it was not put to vote and it was not immediately clear if the voice vote taken earlier was for all bills and resolution or only for the bill for reservation.
Shah had moved the resolution and the bills together. But the introduction was opposed by Congress, TMC and DMK members. Amid the ruckus, PDP members Nazir Ahmad Laway and Mir Mohammad Fayaz shouted slogans and tore posters. Laway even tore the kurta he was wearing. Later as the protests heated up, the duo tore copies of the Constitution, prompting Naidu to order their eviction. The Indian Constitution is supreme. Nobody can do it, Naidu said as he named two members and ordered marshals to physically remove them from the House. This decision of government is definitely going to leave long term impacts on the country.
Bureau News, Kokan Now, New Delhi.