Amid speculations of Article 35A being scrapped from Jammu and Kashmir, the government in a midnight move on Sunday placed several mainstream politicians, including former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, under house arrest. The Union Cabinet meeting is scheduled at the official residence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the national capital at 9:30 am today and speculations are rife that government can make some major announcement related to policy changes in Jammu and Kashmir. Besides the prime minister, the ministers of defence, home, external affairs, and finance will attend the meeting.
What is Article 35A?
Article 35A of the Indian Constitution is an article that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state's legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents. The article draws its relevance and affects effectiveness of Article 370.
Full text of Article 35A
"Saving of laws with respect to permanent residents and their rights. — Notwithstanding anything contained in this Constitution, no existing law in force in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and no law hereafter enacted by the Legislature of the State:
(a) defining the classes of persons who are, or shall be, permanent residents of the State of Jammu and Kashmir; or
(b) conferring on such permanent residents any special rights and privileges or imposing upon other persons any restrictions as respects
(i) employment under the State Government;
(ii) acquisition of immovable property in the State;
(iii) settlement in the State; or
(iv) right to scholarships and such other forms of aid as the State Government may provide,
shall be void on the ground that it is inconsistent with or takes away or abridges any rights conferred on the other citizens of India by any provision of this part."