Rajya Sabha passes resolution to extend President’s rule in J&K for 6 more months2 min read . Updated: 02 Jul 2019, 12:54 AM IST
- The Upper House also cleared the J&K Reservation (amendment) Bill, two days after it was passed by the Lok Sabha
- The coalition government in the state collapsed when the junior partner BJP withdrew support in June 2018, citing worsening law and order among other reasons
NEW DELHI : Amid an uproar among the Opposition, the Rajya Sabha on Monday approved a statutory resolution to extend President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir for another six months. The Upper House also cleared the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (amendment) Bill, two days after it was passed by the Lok Sabha.
The reservation bill and the statutory resolution now await President Ram Nath Kovind’s assent. Rajya Sabha chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu said the reservation bill had been passed unanimously.
Union home minister Amit Shah on Monday moved a statutory resolution to extend President’s rule in J&K. Shah also tabled the reservation bill —which is set to benefit 435 villages along Samba, Kathua and Jammu in Jammu and Kashmir—in the Upper House after it was passed by the Lok Sabha on Friday.
“In June last year, the PDP government (in J&K) lost support and governor’s rule was subsequently imposed in November. The Election Commission has assessed the situation in the state and elections will be held by the end of the year due to ongoing religious festivals in Jammu and Kashmir," Shah told the Upper House.
The coalition government in the state collapsed when the junior partner Bharatiya Janata Party withdrew support in June 2018, citing worsening law and order among other reasons.
Shah asserted that the reservation bill was aimed at including children living along the international border (IB) into the mainstream.
“People who are living along the Line of Control and Line of Actual Control are included in the 3% reservation. But the people living along the IB face equal difficulties. Pakistan conducts shelling and firing and disrupts the peace and these children too should have equal opportunities," Shah told the House.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Trinamool Congress (TMC), the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) extended their support to both the statutory resolution and the bill, while the Communist Party of India (Marxist) opposed both.
While the Opposition backed the Centre it, however, launched a scathing attack asking why assembly elections had not been held in Jammu and Kashmir along with parliamentary elections. The Opposition also wanted to know why the Centre was repeatedly using “terrorism" as an excuse, when elections had in fact been held in Kashmir in the past and claimed that this was instead alienating the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“We are with you on fighting terrorism. When you formed the government with the PDP you said you would undertake confidence building programmes. But you did not take a single confidence building measure. At least don’t alienate people. The Pulwama (terrorist) episode was tragic, but has this ever happened that civilian traffic was stalled twice a week on the highway? The route sees medicines, food and essential supplies being sent," said Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, adding that elections be immediately be announced in the state.
State governor Satya Pal Malik banned civilian traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in the wake of the ongoing Amarnath Yatra.
“It is extremely tragic that for Amarnath yatra—which we had been conducting for so many years in the past—there will be no vehicle movement as long as yatra is on. This is not a confidence-building measure. It’s an alienating measure," Azad added.
While Amit Shah reiterated that the government would continue its “zero tolerance policy against terrorism," he added that those who “tried to break India, would be dealt with severely."