New Delhi: Lok Sabha on Saturday passed Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation
(Amendment) Bill, 2021 with Home Minister Amit Shah saying that this Bill has got nothing to do with the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir and statehood would be given to the union territory at an ‘appropriate time’.
The Bill will replace Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Ordinance of 2021 which merged the Jammu and Kashmir cadre of the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, and Indian Forest Service with the Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram, and Union Territory cadre, also known as AGMUT cadre.
The President had promulgated the ordinance last month to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.
Replying to the debate, the Union Home Minister said, ‘We were asked what did we do about promises made during abrogation of Article 370. It has been 17 months since the abrogation and you are demanding an account for it. Did you bring the account of what you did for 70 years?
‘Had you worked properly, you need not have asked us,’ he said.
Mr Shah asked parties in the House not to politicise the Jammu and Kashmir issue.
He further asked, “People asking questions on development, will they answer what they have done in the past 70 years ?”
The Union Home Minister said many MPs said that bringing Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 means Jammu and Kashmir won’t get statehood.
‘I am piloting the Bill, I brought it. Nowhere it is written that Jammu and Kashmir won’t get statehood,’ the Union Home Minister said.
Mentioning about the Panchayat elections in the Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Shah said the polls were peaceful and 51 per cent votes were cast.
He said many departments have been handed over to panchayats.
‘We have decentralised power,’ Mr Shah said.
After the Minister’s reply, the Bill was passed.
Earlier, taking part in the discussion, Congress floor leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury asked what was the need for bringing in an Ordinance.
The Congress Member said, it would be better if the cadre were local cadre as they can understand the language and culture of the place so the local officers should be recruited.