Meanwhile Home Minister Amit Shah withdrew the EWS reservation Bill, as with the nullifying of Article 370, there is no need for a separate Bill to implement the quota.

Jammu and Kashmir state to be split into two Union Territories Parliament approvesImage for representation. Courtesy: PTI
news Politics Tuesday, August 06, 2019 - 19:19

On Tuesday, the Lok Sabha approved the nullifying of Article 370 by a Presidential order, and the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir state into two Union Territories by an Act of Parliament. The Lok Sabha voted on two resolutions (nullifying Article 370 and Article 35A) and two Bills (reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir, and bringing in EWS reservation in Jammu and Kashmir) on Tuesday evening. The treasury benches won the two resolutions and the reorganisation Bill by a tremendous margin. Meanwhile Home Minister Amit Shah withdrew the EWS reservation Bill, as with the nullifying of Article 370, there is no need for a separate Bill to implement the quota.

With this, the state of Jammu and Kashmir will now be split into two Union Territories. The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature, whereas the Union Territory of Ladakh will not.

The move by the government to nullify Article 370, that have special status to Jammu and Kashmir, was brought in even as Jammu and Kashmir was put under a full lockdown. Communication lines were cut and several leaders including former Chief Ministers were put under house arrest. Several people across the country have criticised the manner in which Article 370 was nullified in the state, when people who belong to the state could not even respond. However, the move to nullify Article 370 and Article 35A also found widespread support with some people.

Replying to criticism on turning J&K into two UTs, Home Minister Amit Shah said that while Ladakh has had a long standing demand to be converted into a UT, Jammu and Kashmir will be given the status of a state once again, when the ‚Äúsituation returned to normal, and at the right time.‚ÄĚ

Union Territories are areas governed by the Union government directly, and the Home Ministry controls the everyday affairs of the UT with the help of an unelected administrator/Lieutenant Governor, unlike in states, where elected governments are incharge of administration. In UTs with legislatures, the LG handles the administration with the help of an elected Cabinet including a Chief Minister. 

Speaker Om Birla also adjourned the Lok Sabha sine die on Tuesday, despite the fact that the House was supposed to end for the session only on Wednesday. This, after Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi asked for the House to be adjourned early since "99% of the business has been completed."

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