NEW DELHI: Parliament on Tuesday approved a resolution abrogating special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and a bill for splitting the state into two Union Territories.
The resolution was adopted by Lok Sabha with 351 members voting in its support and 72 against it, while one member abstained.
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The bill to create two UTs — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh — was passed by 370 votes in favour and 70 against.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in the House.
The resolution and the bill were approved by Rajya Sabha on Monday.
Replying to the debate on resolution for abrogating some provisions of Article 370 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019, Home Minister Amit Shah said that India will continue to claim the territories of Jammu and Kashmir under the occupation of Pakistan and ruled out any talks with separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference.
Shah also said the Modi government will have no hesitation in restoring statehood to Jammu and Kashmir when normalcy returns.
“India will continue to claim Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,” he said.
Shah said Article 370 was creating doubts over Jammu and Kashmir’s relations with India.
“This is not a historical blunder but we are rectifying the historical blunder,” he said dismissing the opposition charges that the government was committing a mistake.
He also strongly refuted the suggestion that abrogation of Article 370 was “communal agenda” and said the provision in the Constitution was discriminatory and against the minorities, women and welfare of the people.
The home minister also ruled out talks with the Hurriyat Conference.
“We don’t want to talk to Hurriyat, but we ready to speak to people of Kashmir…,” he said.
Shah said over 41,500 people were killed in Jammu and Kashmir due to militancy since 1989 and blamed the Article 370 and Article 35A for the problem.
Defending the government’s action to put restrictions in Kashmir Valley in the last two days, the home minister said law and order situation there has not deteriorated and whatever actions have been taken were all precautionary.
The government had on Monday revoked some provisions of the Article 370 to take away Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, and brought in a bill for splitting the state into two Union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, a bold and far- reaching decision that seeks to redraw the map and future of a region at the centre of protracted militancy .
Fulfilling an electoral promise of the BJP less than 90 days after the Modi 2.0 government took power, Shah had announced the decision in Rajya Sabha, which approved both the resolution and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation bill.
Shah later withdrew the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (2nd Amendment) Bill, 2019, in Lok Sabha, saying that the clauses incorporated in the legislation will automatically come into effect in the two new Union Territories.
The Bill will also be withdrawn from Rajya Sabha.
After the resolution and the bill were adopted, Speaker Om Birla adjourned Lok Sabha sine die.
Source: Press Trust of India