New Delhi: Scripting history, the Narendra Modi government revoked the special status enjoyed by Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution, bifurcating the state into two Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir, with a legislature and Ladakh, without one.
Both will have two separate Lt. Governors. The Gazette notification revoking Article 370 was signed by President Ramnath Kovind. It virtually mutes 370 and scraps 35A which was issued by a presidential order in 1954 giving the people of the State a number of exemptions.
Importantly, the word legislative assembly substitutes Contituent assembly referred to in Article 370, and thus, the Governor's consent is all that would be needed.
Article 370 flowed from the terms of the Instrument of Accession signed by Raja Hari Singh, the former ruler of J & K in October, 1947.
Home minister Amit Shah pointed out that Article 370 itself states that it is a 'temporary' provision and that a transitional framework cannot stretch to a period of 72 plus years. The Modi government's move now changes everything. Let's see what this means....
One of the biggest game-changers is that the Constitution of India will apply to the state. The Ranbir penal code stands replaced by the Indian Penal Code.
The term of the legislative assembly of the state will be 5 years and not 6.
By stripping Jammu and Kashmir of its Special Status, no-permanent residents of can settle permanently in the state. Over time this is bound to transform the demography and economy of Jammu and Kashmir.
RTI Act will now be applicable to Jammu and Kashmir.
The Centre now has the powers to declare a financial emergency in the state.
Significantly, Pakistan can no longer harp on the 'Kashmir' issue. With the state no longer enjoying special status, India will simply refuse to let Pakistan use it as a bargaining chip or pre-condition for negotiations. On its part, India had earlier briefed the permanent members of the UN Security Council, US, UK, China, France and Russia on the historic decision.