Home Minister Amit Shah answered questions posed by members of the Opposition parties regarding the scrapping of Article 370 in the Rajya Sabha in the debate on the relevant bills on Monday, making a key point pertaining to the bifurcation of the state into the union territories of J&K and Ladakh.
Members of the Opposition such as Ghulam Nabi Azad and P Chidambaram raised questions as to how long would the state of Jammu and Kashmir remain as a Union Territory if the amendment was passed. Home Minister Amit Shah responded to the question saying that the status of Jammu and Kashmir will return to statehood after things normalize in the state.
''Some members have asked me for how long will Jammu and Kashmir remain a Union Territory. Let me assure all of you, that Jammu and Kashmir will regain its statehood once things normalize. Going by the turn of events and the discussions held here, it looks like it will take a little longer, but it will eventually be declared a state once again'', he said.
He added that Jammu and Kashmir was the pride of India and that there was no doubt about it. However, the Home Minister said that if the situation in the state normalizes soon, then the government has no intention of dragging this issue.
It exempts Jammu and Kashmir from following the Indian Constitution except for Article 1 and itself. It also restricts Parliament's legislative powers in Jammu and Kashmir. It was passed in the Constituent Assembly on May 27, 1949, and is the first article of Part XXI of the Indian Constitution. The heading of this part is ‘Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions’. Abrogating Article 370 has the effect of also doing away with Article 35A.
Incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential order, Article 35 A defines the permanent residents of the state of Jammu and Kashmir by giving special rights and privileges to the state subjects. It stems from Article 370 that gives an autonomous right to Jammu and Kashmir. The article is also referred to as Permanent Residents Law and bars woman belonging to the state from any property rights if she marries a person from outside the state. Even the children of such women do not get the right as they do not have any succession rights over the property.