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  India   All India  05 Aug 2019  Bill to scrap Article 35A on Cabinet’s agenda today

Bill to scrap Article 35A on Cabinet’s agenda today

Published : Aug 5, 2019, 1:42 am IST
Updated : Aug 5, 2019, 1:42 am IST

Under Article 35A, no “outsider” can own property in J&K, get a state job, establish a business or settle down in that state.

Union home minister Amit Shah held a meeting with top security officials and is believed to have discussed the prevailing situation in J&K. (Photo: PTI)
 Union home minister Amit Shah held a meeting with top security officials and is believed to have discussed the prevailing situation in J&K. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: In a significant move, the Union Cabinet is likely to clear a bill to scrap Article 35A from the Constitution. Top sources said the Cabinet will meet at 9.30 am on Monday morning at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence to take a decision to this effect.

This proposed move comes in the backdrop of heavy troop deployments in Jammu and Kashmir and an advisory issued by the state administration to curtail the Amaranth Yatra, which led to a lot of uncertainty in the state for the past few days.

The BJP has long opposed the contentious Article 35A and in its manifesto for the recently-concluded 2019 Lok Sabha polls had promised to remove it.

If the Union Cabinet clears the bill on Monday, there could be major political and social repercussions in Jammu and Kashmir.

Under Article 35A, no “outsider” can own property in J&K, get a state job, establish a business or settle down in that state. It allows the J&K legislature to define who are permanent residents of the state. Article 35A was inserted through the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order 1954, which was issued by President Rajendra Prasad under Article 370, on the advice of the Jawaharlal Nehru-led Union Cabinet. When the J&K constitution was adopted in 1956, it defined a permanent resident as someone who was a state subject on May 14, 1954, or who has been a resident of the state for 10 years, and had lawfully acquired immovable property.

Under this clause, therefore, no outsider can own property in J&K or get a state government job.

Also on Sunday, Union home minister Amit Shah held a meeting with top security officials and is believed to have discussed the prevailing situation in J&K. The hour-long meeting was attended by national security adviser Ajit Doval, Union home secretary Rajiv Gauba and several other top officials, including the chiefs of the Intelligence Bureau and Research and Analysis Wing. The situation in Jammu and Kashmir is learnt to have been discussed in the meeting, sources said.

Jammu and Kashmir has been on the edge after the deployment of additional security forces in the state last week. The administration of J&K, now under President’s Rule, has ordered the curtailment of the annual Amarnath Yatra and asked pilgrims and tourists to leave the Kashmir Valley, citing the terror threat. Outstation students, studying in Srinagar’s NIT, were also asked to leave the campus and go home and not return till further orders.

Tags: article 35a, narendra modi, amit shah