The Rajya Sabha on Monday approved a statutory resolution to extend President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir for another six months, with effect from July 3, 2019, and passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019, ANI reported. Both bills were moved in the Upper House by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Opposition parties, including the Samajwadi Party, the Trinamool Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Biju Janata Dal, on Monday supported the statutory resolution to extend President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir by six months. The Lok Sabha had approved the resolution on Friday.
Shah, while tabling the resolution, said the Centre had “no other option” in the current circumstances as the Election Commission had decided to conduct Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir only by the end of the year. He had made a similar statement in the Lower House.
Shah said the poll panel had made the decision in consultation with the state administration, the Centre and all parties, keeping in mind local festivals and the current security situation in the state.
Governor’s Rule was imposed in the state in June 2018 after the Bharatiya Janata Party walked out of the alliance with the Peoples Democratic Party, and President’s Rule was imposed six months later. It expires on Tuesday.
Shah said in the Rajya Sabha on Monday evening that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s solution to the Kashmir solution was “Jamuriyat (democracy), Kashmiriyat (Kashmiri culture) and insaniyat (humanity)”, ANI reported. “I reiterate today that Modi led government is also working on Atal ji’s path of Jamuriyat, Kashmiriyat and Insaniyat.”
Shah said that the Modi government has zero tolerance towards terrorism, NDTV reported. “Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of the country and no one can separate it from India,” he said. “Whoever talks of destroying India will get a reply in the same language.”
The Union home minister had also moved the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill in the Upper House. The bill, which the Lok Sabha had passed on Friday, proposes to provide reservation to people living in the areas along the international border with Pakistan on par with residents of areas near the Line of Control and Actual Line of Control. The bill, if approved, will replace an ordinance that the government had promulgated on February 28.
Shah said it was unjust to people in Jammu living near the international border to not have the same benefits even though they lived in similar circumstances.
Rajya Sabha Chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu allotted five hours for a combined discussion on the quota bill and the extension of President’s Rule.
Congress MP Viplove Thakur and Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien asked if the Lok Sabha elections could be held in Jammu Kashmir, why Assembly elections could not be held as well. Thakur alleged that the government was making excuses for not holding state elections.
However, Opposition parties, including the Samajwadi Party, the Trinamool Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Biju Janata Dal, supported both proposals. Shah will speak on the reservation bill at 7 pm.
Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha discussed the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Bill, which will replace an ordinance of the same name. The legislation proposes to allow filling up of more than 7,000 vacancies for teachers by direct recruitment in accordance with a new quota system.