What Is Article 370 And Why Is It Politically Significant In Jammu and Kashmir?
GUWAHATI: Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday August 5, announced in the Rajya Sabha that the government has decided to repeal Article 370 of the Constitution which grants special status to Jammu & Kashmir.
Shah’s announcement was immediately followed by a massive uproar in the Upper House with opposition MPs protesting in the Upper House.
Amit Shah also proposed making a separate Union Territory for Jammu and Kashmir with the Legislature. However the Union territory of Ladakh will be without legislature.
What is Article 370?
The provision of Article 370 was drafted in 1947 by Sheikh Abdullah, the then prime minister of J&K appointed by Maharaja Hari Singh and Jawaharlal Nehru. Abdullah had argued that Article 370 should not be placed under temporary provisions; he instead wanted 'iron-clad autonomy' for the state. However, the centre didn't grant his wish.
Article 370 of the Constitution is a ‘temporary provision’ which promises to grant autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir and limits Parliament’s powers to make laws for the state. Under Part XXI of the Constitution titled “Temporary, transitional and special provisions", Article 370 is categorised as a “temporary provision with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir".
It also means the state's residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians. As a result of this provision, Indian citizens from other states cannot purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir.
What will change in Jammu and Kashmir now?
After Kashmir's special status is gone, people from anywhere in India will be able to buy property and permanently settle in the state.
With this, a separate Union Territory will be created for Jammu & Kashmir with the legislature, Amit Shah has revealed via a notification. "Keeping in view the prevailing internal security situation, fuelled by cross-border terrorism in the existing state of Jammu & Kashmir, a separate Union Territory is being created", the notification said.
Following Amit Shah's proposal, President Ram Nath Kovind promulgated Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019, stating that the provisions of the Indian Constitution will henceforth be applicable to J&K.
The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019 comes into force "at once", and shall "supersede the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954".