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Historic Legislation: J&K Reorganisation Amendment Bill, Reservation Amendment Bill clear Lok Sabha hurdle

Ishtiyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, Dec 06: The Lok Sabha has passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill and the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, marking a ‘crucial step in the ongoing process of redefining the political and social landscape of the region’.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill seeks to bring about modifications to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which led to the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two separate Union Territories – Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
Simultaneously, the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill aims to refine the existing reservation policies in the region. The amendments intend to enhance socio-economic development by ensuring equitable representation and opportunities for all communities residing in Jammu and Kashmir. The bill reflects a commitment to fostering inclusivity and addressing historical imbalances in the distribution of resources and opportunities.
News agency KNS reported that the discussions in the Lok Sabha witnessed engaging debates, with members from various political parties expressing their opinions on the proposed amendments.
While some hailed the bills as crucial for the region’s progress, others raised concerns about potential challenges in their implementation.
As per the reports the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, is a legislative move aimed at appointing two members from the Kashmiri migrant community and one representative for displaced persons from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to the legislative assembly.
“The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill designed to alter the nomenclature of a specific segment of individuals eligible for quotas in appointments and admissions,” the reports said.
During the discussions, Home Minister Amit Shah emphasized the government’s intent behind the bills, asserting that they would deliver justice to those who had been deprived of their rights for the past seven decades.
He particularly highlighted the significance of providing reservation to displaced individuals, contending that it would empower them with a voice in the legislative process.
Addressing the historical context, Shah pointed out that Jammu and Kashmir had endured the consequences of two critical mistakes made by India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.
Shah highlighted Nehru’s decision to declare a ceasefire and subsequently taking the Kashmir issue to the United Nations as pivotal errors. According to the Home Minister, had Nehru taken different measures, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir would have been an integral part of India today.
Shah further disclosed an ongoing plan to eliminate terrorism incidents in Jammu and Kashmir, emphasizing that this strategy has been in effect for the past three years.
He expressed confidence that by 2026, the region would witness a cessation of violence, marking a crucial milestone in the government’s efforts to establish lasting peace.
During his response to the debate on the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, Shah further expressed that had terrorism been addressed from the outset without succumbing to vote-bank politics, the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Valley might have been averted.
Highlighting the specific objectives of one of the bills, Shah stated that it aimed to ensure representation in the assembly for those compelled to leave Kashmir due to terrorism, thereby addressing their grievances.
Drawing attention to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s humble background, Shah emphasized that Modi’s rise from a poor family to the position of Prime Minister reflected his understanding of the challenges faced by backward classes and the impoverished.
Shah asserted that the bills were a testament to the government’s commitment to rectifying historical injustices and fostering inclusivity in Jammu and Kashmir.
The centre believes that it is expected to streamline governance and facilitate a more efficient implementation of central policies in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The passage of these bills in the Lok Sabha is a significant milestone in the legislative process.The development comes amid ongoing efforts by the government to bring about comprehensive changes in the region and promote a more inclusive and prosperous Jammu and Kashmir. (KNS)

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