The Rajya Sabha passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019 and adopted the resolution to repeal Article 370 of the Constitution, paving way for bifurcation of the state into two Union territories (UTs) and allowing people from other states to buy land there.
The BJP-led ruling alliance received support of many non-NDA parties, with these measures sailing through the upper house of Parliament without much effort.
Announcing a path breaking decision by the Government, Shri Shah said that the Government is moving a resolution which would repeal the provisions under Article 370 of the Constitution of India,which granted a special status to the state of J&K.
The provisions of Article 370 would cease to exist from the date President of India issues a notification in this regard, after the recommendation of the Parliament. Consequently, the Constitution of India would get applicable to J&K, on par with other states/UTs of the country, the Minister added.
Responding to apprehensions on the resolution and the future of J&K,Shri Shah said,“I would just say that the bill that the Government is bringing is historic. Article 370 has prevented J&K to merge with India rather than being a basis of its merger.”
The politics of vote bank has looted the youth of the state for over 70 years. I would call on the opposition members to debate and discuss on why the benefits of development were not allowed to reach the common people of J&K till now.
Politics of religion must be avoided at all costs. Article 370 is equally harmful for people of all religions”, the Minister said.
Further, the Minister termed the provisions of Article 370 as discriminatory on the basis of gender, class, caste and place of origin. The youth is being taken for a ride by the political elite. This provision was temporary in the first place and it has to go in the larger interest of the people of J&K, he added.
The Rajya Sabha also passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019, providing for 10 per cent reservation for Economically Weaker Sections of upper castes in the state.
Earlier in the day after introducing two resolutions and two bills pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir, Shah explained that under Article 370(3), there is a provision that President, on recommendation of the Parliament, has the power to amend or cease the implementation of Article 370, through a public notification.
"This has already happened on a number of occasions in the past," he noted.
The two resolutions moved by the Minister are Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 2019 issued by the President to supersede the 1954 order related to Article 370 and Resolution for Repeal of Article 370 of the Constitution. The two bills are Jammu & Kashmir (Reorganisation) Bill, 2019 and Jammu & Kashmir Reservation (2nd Amendment) Bill, 2019.
The Home Minister said that post the repeal of Article 370, doors to private investment in J&K 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. Opening of buying of lands would bring in investments from private individuals and multinational companies and give a boost to the local economy, as opposed to the apprehensions raised by those opposing this historic step.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, the Minister told the youth of the state that Article 370 holds no benefits for them.
"It would only benefit a few elite people who want to keep the youth poor for ever and corner all benefits for themselves," he said.
Business Leaders Praised the Decision of Scrapping Article 370
Industry leaders hailed Narendra Modi-led government’s decision to scrap Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, saying the “historic” move will not only empower its people but make India stronger.
The industry leaders also saw the development as the BJP fulfilling its election promise to do away with the Article and said it would pave the way for Jammu and Kashmir to attract large-scale investments.
“What the nation saw today will be truly historic if it opens the gateway for development and peace in #JammuAndKashmir. It will not just empower the Kashmiri people but make India stronger. #Article370,” Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani tweeted.
“Of course, it (scrapping of Article 370) will pave the way for Jammu and Kashmir to attract large-scale investments,” President of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry Rajeev Talwar told PTI.
He further said since doing away with Article 370 was a part of the BJP’s manifesto, it has the support of a majority of people in the country who voted the party to power with a decisive mandate in the recently held general elections.
Earlier in the day before the announcement was made, Mahindra group Chairman Anand Mahindra tweeted, “Cannot pretend this is just another Monday morning. The entire country is waiting to exhale over Kashmir. Can only pray for the safety of everyone there & for an outcome that makes the nation stronger & the future more positive.”
Later in another tweet, Mahindra said: “There are some decisions, which when taken, evoke the reaction “Why couldn’t this have happened earlier?” Today’s decision falls in that category. It’s time for us all to embrace Kashmiris as an indistinguishable & inseparable part of our national community”.