The Rajya Sabha on Monday adopted the resolution seeking an extension of President rule in Jammu and Kashmir for a further period of six months with effect from July 3, 2019.
The Upper House also gave its nod to Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that proposes to give reservation in educational institutions and government jobs to people living within 10 kms of the International Border in Jammu. The Bill replaces the Ordinance promulgated in this regard.
The resolution and the Bill, moved for discussion and passage by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, has already been passed by Lok Sabha on June 28.
Moving the resolution and the Bill, Shah said that the government has no other option but to further extend President's Rule in Jammu and Kashmir for six months as the Election Commission wants to hold Assembly elections in the state by the end of 2019.
"The Election Commission after consultations with Jammu and Kashmir administration and all the political parties decided to hold Assembly polls by the end of this year. The Election Commission took this decision keeping in view of religious events like Ramzan and Amarnath Yatra and the security situation," Shah said.
On the Reservation Bill, the Home Minister said it will benefit 3.50 lakh people residing in border areas of Jammu and Kashmir.
"A total of 435 villages in the state including 70 in Kathua, 133 in Samba and 232 in Jammu will be the beneficiaries of the Bill," he said. Both the Bills have already been passed by voice vote in Lok Sabha.
Initiating the discussion, Congress' Viplove Thakur questioned the government for not holding Assembly elections in the state along with Lok Sabha polls.
She accused the BJP-led government of misleading and betraying the people of Jammu and Kashmir by extending the President rule.
Samajwadi Party's Ram Gopal Yadav supported the resolution and the Bill while pointing out how Article 356 has been problematic.
"One should at least try to have an alternative government instead of having Presidential rule."
"Many times there is a situation manufactured by the government in politics that the circumstances are such that the opposition has to comply by the options laid out by the government. This is one such situation and so I stand in support," Yadav said.