The state of Jammu and Kashmir has officially become history. It has been bifurcated into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. With this, the total number of states in the country will now stand at 28 while the total UTs will go up to nine. The development coincides with Narendra Modi-led BJP government’s grand ‘National Unity Day’ celebrations, a unique way to observe Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel’s birth anniversary. The abrogation of Article 370 that was announced on August 5 will change the way the region will be administered. While Pakistan has consistently slammed India’s ‘illegal’ measure, the BJP government has maintained that Article 370 was never a permanent feature in the Indian Constitution. Here’s what will change for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh:
1: The first major change is the way these two UTs will be administered. While Jammu and Kashmir will now have a Legislative Assembly, Ladakh will be a UT without a Legislative Assembly. The term of Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir has been fixed for five years, a year less than what was said in the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.
2: Both UTs will be administered by the Lt Governors. IAS officers Girish Chandra Murmu and RK Mathur, who have been appointed the new Lieutenant Governors the Union territories (UTs) of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh respectively, will be sworn-in at separate functions to be held in Srinagar and Leh on Thursday. Both the former bureaucrats will be sworn in by Chief Justice of J&K High Court Gita Mittal.
3: According to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 , 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.
4: With Article 370 becoming history, Jammu and Kashmir will not have separate state flag.
5: Apart from abrogation of Article 370, President Ram Nath Kovind also gave nod to scrapping of Article 35A on August 5. This means that now every Indian will be able to buy property in Jammu and Kashmir.
6: Instead of the Ranbir Penal Code, the entire region will now fall under the jurisdiction of the Indian Penal Code.
7: According to the government’s notification, the President's rule imposed in undivided Jammu and Kashmir revoked following creation of 2 Union Territories.
8: The notification also announced several measures including application of central laws in the erstwhile state. “... there are references in the state laws that have been applied to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, and the Union Territory of Ladakh to the expressions ‘permanent residents’ or ‘hereditary state subjects’..., wherever they occur, shall be omitted,” it said.
9: The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir will be common High Court for both Union Territories. Unlike the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, there has been no change in the name of the High Court.
10: Mehbooba Mufti was the last chief minister of undivided Jammu and Kashmir whose tenure ended in June 2017 when central rule was imposed there after her coalition partner BJP withdrew support. Satya Pal Malik is the last governor whose tenure comes to an end on Wednesday. He has been transferred and appointed as Governor of Goa.