The Rajya Sabha on August 5, 2019, passed the Centre's resolution to reorganise Jammu and Kashmir. Under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019, the Centre plans to bifurcate the state of J&K into two Union Territories — Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir.
What is Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019?
The government has decided to turn the state of J&K into two Union territories. Some of the provisions of the Bill include:
1. The Union Territory of Ladakh will comprise the following territories of the existing J&K: Kargil and Leh districts. These districts will cease to be part of the existing state of J&K.
2. J&K will be known as the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, comprising the territories of the existing state of Jammu and Kashmir.
3. The Governor of the state will be the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
4. Four sitting members of the Council of States representing the existing state of J&K will be deemed to have been elected to fill the seats allotted to the UT of J&K. The term of the sitting members will remain unaltered.
5. Five seats will be allocated to J&K and one sent to Ladakh. The Election Commission of India may conduct parliamentary elections for J&K and Ladakh according to the allocation of seats.
6. The provisions in Article 239A, which are applicable to Puducherry, will also apply to J&K. This implies that an administrator designated as Lieutenant Governor will be appointed for J&K.
7. J&K will have a Legislative Assembly, which will be filled through direct elections. Total number of seats in J&K will be 107.
8. Until the area of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir under the occupation of Pakistan ceases to be occupied and the people residing in that area elect their representatives, twenty-four seats in the Legislative Assembly shall remain vacant and shall not be taken into account for reckoning the total membership of the Assembly.
9. Ladakh will be administered by the President through a Lieutenant Governor.
10. The President can make regulations for peace, progress and good governance of Ladakh.
11. The Lieutenant Governor will be assisted by advisors appointed by the central government.