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 would meet at 9.30 am on Monday at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence to take a decision to this effect.
This proposed move comes against 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 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 J&K.
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 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....