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Why Jammu and Kashmir Was Dismantled

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06.08.2019

With the introduction and passage of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 in the Rajya Sabha, a radical, political move by the ruling BJP converted the state of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, along with the creation of a separate Union Territory of Ladakh including Leh and Kargil as districts (without a legislature).

As per the Bill, the powers of administration of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir shall now rest in the hands of a Lieutenant Governor – similar to Delhi, who will be appointed by the ruling New Delhi consensus while, with its new formation, the legislative assembly of J&K shall now have 107 seats (as against the 87 present now).

The extreme move has already seen divided legal and constitutional opinions on the manner in which Article 35A was ‘scrapped’ and the state of Jammu and Kashmir was disintegrated for its people to ‘integrate’ with rest of India.

While some from legal fraternity, like Harish Salve, argued that the government’s introduction of this Bill acts more as a ‘statutory resolution’ (i.e. binding on state government) using Articles 2 and 3 to reorganise Jammu and Kashmir, others like P. Chidambaram challenged the very constitutionality of due legislative process, that surpassed any consultative process of negotiation or approval from the constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir, seeing this as an act of subterfuge.

Legally, this move is likely to remain a subject of long debate and deliberation.

However, one popular justification provided for this unilateral action based on what home........

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