Rajya Sabha passes Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, scraps special status under Article 370
New Delhi: Rajya Sabha on Monday, 5 August 2019, approved a resolution abrogating clauses under Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and a Bill to bifurcate the state into two union territories with Home Minister Amit Shah stating that the controversial provisions under Article 370 were responsible for extreme corruption, terrorism, monopoly of business, poverty and lack of development in the state.
The Bill to bifurcate the State of Jammu and Kashmir was approved by 125 votes in favour and 61 against it. One member abstained.
Rajya Sabha also passed the Bill to extend 10 per cent reservation to economically weaker sections in Jammu and Kashmir and also the resolution to abrogate Article 370 by voice vote.
TMC opposed the resolution and staged a walked out before Shah’s reply to the debate. YSR-Congress, BJD, BSP, and AIADMK voted in favour of the bill.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill provides for bifurcation of the state into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Concluding the debate, the Home Minister said that “Article 370 is the biggest hurdle to restoration of normalcy in the state,” The Union government was committed to making Jammu and Kashmir the most developed state in the country, he went om to underscore.
Reacting to the dissenting voices, especially from Congress side by leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad and P Chadambaram, Shah said, Kashmir will not be allowed to turn into another Kosovo. He also asked who was responsible for the policy that has lead to the death of more than 41000 people due to terrorism.
Since Moghul times, kashmir has been referred to as “heaven on earth” Shah said adding that it will remain so.
On Chidambaram’s concern about why Jammu and kashmir was being bifurcated and denied the status of a State, the Home Minister said that full statehood will be restored to Jammu and Kashmir when there is normalcy and at “appropriate time”.
Article 370 is the biggest hurdle to normalcy in the state, Shah said and went on to underscore that the government was committed to making Jammu and Kashmir the most developed state in the country.
Shah pointedly said that during the last 70-years, three families in Jammu and Kashmir have prevented the growth of leadership and percolation of democracy at the grassroot level. He further said that despite Rs 14,255 per capita being allocated to Jammu and Kashmir as against Rs 3,681 per capita national average, the State did not progress due to rampant corruption. Tourism also failed to take off as big hotels were unable to purchase property and contribute towards the growth of the tourism sector in the State. Similar was the case on the industry front, he added.