Srinagar: In an event of far-reaching consequences, the state of Jammu and Kashmir ceased to exist at midnight Wednesday and was converted into two Union Territories, around three months after Parliament abrogated its special status under Article 370.
However, the President's rule imposed in undivided Jammu and Kashmir was on Thursday revoked following bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories.
The UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh would be headed by lieutenant governors G C Murmu and R K Mathur, respectively. They will take oath on Thursday. This is for the first time that a state is being converted into two UTs. The total number of states in the country will now be 28, while the total UTs will go up to nine.
With this, the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and the Ranbir Penal Code will cease to exist from Thursday, when the nation celebrates 'National Unity Day' to mark the birth anniversary of the country's first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who is credited for the merger of over 560 states into the Union of India.
The UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature like Puducherry while Ladakh will be a UT without legislature like Chandigarh and both the UTs will be headed by two separate lieutenant governors (LG), as per the Act.
The Centre will be in direct control of the police and the law and order in Jammu and Kashmir from Thursday when it becomes a UT, while the land will be under the elected government there. The UT of Ladakh will be under the direct control of the central government which will administer the high-altitude region through the LG.
The two UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh come into existence on Thursday after the central government on August 5 decided to abrogate the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and create them on October 31.
"In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of article 356 of the Constitution, I, Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, hereby revoke the proclamation issued by me under the said article on the 19th December, 2018 in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir," the official notification said.
Earlier, the central rule was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir in June 2018 after resignation of the then Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti when the BJP withdrew support to the PDP led goverment. The central rule as 'Governor's rule' continued for six months.
After six months, President's rule was imposed for next six months which was subsequently extended with the approval of Parliament. Article 356 of the Constitution under which President's rule is imposed in a state, is not applicable in Union Territories.