Amit Shah pilots his first bill in Lok Sabha for amendment of J&K Reservation Bill and extending President’s Rule in J&K

Home Minister Amit Shah Friday proposed to introduce the J&K Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha along with the proposal to extend President’s rule in the state.

The J&K reservation amendment bill seeks to bring residents of areas adjoining International Border (IB) within the ambit of reservation, on par with persons living in areas adjoining Actual Line of Control (ALoC). Extending the benefits of reservation to the residents along the IB has been a long pending demand and is expected to benefit over 3 million residents.

The bill will chiefly benefit those living within 10km of the International Border in Jammu through reservation in educational institutions and government jobs. “The people of Jammu and Kashmir were feeling for the first time that Jammu and Ladakh are also part of the state.” Shah said while introducing the twin proposals for amendment in J&K reservation bill and extension of the President’s rule.

He said government had to bring these bills since there was no assembly in J&K at the present.

Congress MP Manish Tewari said his party supports “the spirit” of the bill but is opposed to the “manner” in which reservation is being given. He said Reservation Amendment Bill, 2019 should have been introduced in the J&K assembly instead.

Home Minister Amit Shah Friday moved a statutory resolution in the Lok Sabha to extend President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir for a period of six months.

Moving the resolution, he said since the state assembly has been dissolved and the Election Commission has decided to hold fresh elections in Jammu and Kashmir later this year, it is essential that the President’s Rule be extended for another six months with effect from July 3, 2019.

He said during the Governor’s Rule and later President’s Rule, the government has hit at the roots of terrorism.

The state has seen bloodshed in previous elections, but things have changed, he told the House.

“ Polls for 40,000 posts were held this time without a single person dying. There was no violence even during the general elections in the state. This shows that law and order is better today in Jammu and Kashmir,” Shah said before adding that the NDA government had conducted polls for more than 4 thousand ‘Panchayats’–going against the norm– in the state and as a result more than 40 thousand elected village heads are serving the state.

He urged the members to rise above party lines to support the resolution as the President’s rule had benefitted the state in many ways.

Speaking after Shah, Congress MP Manish Tewari opposed the extension and blamed the BJP-PDP government for the worsening of the situation in the state.

“The roots of the reason for seeking 6-month extension for President’s rule in J&K lie in the incompatible government formed by the BJP and PDP alliance.” Tiwari said adding, “Situation in J&K worsened between 2015 and 2018 when the youth of the state took to the streets.”

He said that it was not in India’s interest to not have an elected government in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and questioned why assembly polls weren’t held with the peaceful Lok Sabha elections in the state.

This is the first proposal Shah has moved in the Lok Sabha after being appointed as the home minister in the second tenure of the Narendra Modi government.