J&K bifurcation bill passed, Lok Sabha also scraps Kashmir special status

Amit Shah’s final speech in reply to doubts, queries made by opposition members

Ladakh MP’s speech that made Shah laughed; Modi recommended to watch it

Bills and Resolution moved

New Delhi, Aug. 6 (UNI) The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a statutory resolution removing Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir and the J&K Reorganisation Bill, 2019 which bifurcates the State. The key bills were passed by voting with 370 in favour and 70 against. The Rajya Sabha gave its nod to the bills on Monday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi , in a series of tweets, noted that “people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh would be proud that MPs overcame differences and discussed the future of these regions as well as ensuring peace, progress and prosperity there. The widespread support can be clearly seen in the final numbers, 125:61 in RS and 370:70 in LS.
Replying to day-long debate on the key bills, Union Home Minister Amit Shah assured the Lok Sabha that Jammu and Kashmir which has been bifurcated and given the status of a Union Territory with Assembly could be upgraded to the status of a full-fledged State as and when circumstances permit and things become normal.

He also withdrew the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 as it would automatically fall in place after the Presidential order ceasing operation of Article 370, graning special status to the State, become effective.
As the Home Minister rose to give his reply and Prime Minister Modi entered the House, elated members of the ruling party gave a standing ovation and chanted slogans like “Vande Matram’, “Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.
Mr. Shah described the government decision to do away with Article 370 which gives special status to the border State as “historic’ and being in the national interest. He said the BJP-led government of PM Modi had risen above vote bank politics to pave the way for peace, development and progress in Jammu and Kashmir. He said that Article 370 was a temporary provision whereas Article 371 is a special provision extended to states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur.

He said the government would not hesitate in granting full=fledged statehood to Jammu and Kashmir which has been turned into a Union Territory as the situation improves.

“I want to state that J&K is an inalienable part of India. There are no two versions about that.’ Mr. Shah said. He added that Parliament is the highest and fully competent body to make laws and bring resolutions regarding a State of India, including J&K. There can be no question to this power of Parliament, he asserted.

Mr Shah said that for 70 years, people of India have harboured this aspiration in their hearts that Kashmir must be an integral part of the country. Article 370 was the only roadblock to realise this goal, Mr. Shah said. The Home Minister thanked the Prime Minister for this historic and courageous step to remove this roadblock forever.
Mr Shah reminded the Opposition and asked who took Kashmir matter to U.N. and brought a unilateral ceasefire in 1948.

“Had our forces been given a free hand to deal with the situation, PoK would have been a part of India today,’ he stated.

“I want to assure the people of Jammu & Kashmir that the status of state would be restored once the situation normalises. Secondly, PoK and Aksai Chin are an inalienable part of J&K and 24 seats are still part of the legislature. J&K would have legislative assembly with elected representatives and it is a misnomer that the administration would be run by the Centre,’ he assured the House.

Replying to the points raised by some opposition members, the Home Minister said the matter was not pending in the United Nations and the question of plebiscite had ceased the day Pakistan waged a war against India in 1965.
He said that it was Article 370 which gave rise to separatism and facilitated Pakistan stokes fires of terrorism in Kashmir Valley. He said that 41,500 lives have been lost due to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir over the past nearly three decades.

Asserting that the time was ripe for abolishing Article 370 and integrate Kashmir into the national mainstream, the Home Minister said that discussions have been going on for the past 70 years but nothing had come out of it. “ What should we discuss with Pak-inspired elements? There is no need for such discussion with elements like Hurriyat. We will embrace the people of Jammu and Kashmir with love and affection,’ he declared.

He said that in the past five years the government had given Rs. 1.25 lakh crore package and out of which Rs. 80,000 crores have already been spent. He said that nobody has given a reason as to why Article 370 should be allowed to continue. “It is time to think out of the box and take the path which has not been taken for the development and progress of the State,’ he said.

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