New Delhi, Aug 6 : The government on Tuesday asserted that Jammu and Kashmir was very much an integral part of India and nobody can stop Parliament from bringing in any legislation or resolution on that part of the country.
Piloting the Statutory Resolution on Article 370 and relevant Bills pertaining to the state, Home Minister Amit Shah told the Lok Sabha that to his party and the government of India - any reference to 'Jammu and Kashmir' automatically included Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Askai Chin. ''Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and the state has also accepted this,'' Mr Shah said as he moved for consideration and passing the statutory resolution and relevant bills.
Seeking to make the legal issues clear to members, Mr Shah said all provisions of 370 (1) apply to J and K, and the state stood at 15th place in the list of states of India. He stressed that Parliament was the biggest 'panchayat' which was capable of taking any decision on the matter.
His observation came shortly after Congress floor Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury repeatedly wanted to know whether the government was competent to bring such a resolution and Bills concerning the state unilaterally when time and again the government has been stating that Jammu and Kashmir is a 'bilateral' issue between India and Pakistan. This House has seen historic moments, and a new chapter will be added with the resolution and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019.
The government move will join Jammu and Kashmir to the whole country in the year to come, he maintained.
On the Constitutional validity of the Bill, Mr Shah said the President signed Constitutional Order 2019 on Monday.
With the government deciding to make Article 370 inoperative, the Presidential order said that the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir will be henceforth called ''Legislative Assembly of the State''.
A Law Ministry notification under the title 'The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) order, 2019, said that any references to the Government of Jammu and Kashmir shall be construed as including references to the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir acting on the advice of Council of Ministers.
He said India's Constitution will now be applicable to J&K.
Using Article 370 (3), the President can deactivate Article 370, provided there is consent of Constituent assembly, he said.
The Home Minister said the President has exercised such orders twice before -- in 1952 and 1965 -- during Congress rule when 'Maharaja' was replaced with 'Sadr-e-Riyasat', and then 'Sadr-e-Riyasat' to 'Governor' respectively.
The Home Minister said Ladakh will get status of Union Territory without Legislature.He said the "existing state of Jammu and Kashmir will be a separate Union Territory" with an Assembly. Mr Shah said "There has been a long-pending demand of the people of Ladakh, to give it the status of a Union Territory to enable them to realise their aspirations."
Both the Hill Councils will be active and their representatives will act like ministers, he said adding with regard the proposed Union Territory - there will be a chief minister, who will look after Jammu and Kashmir region.
Mr Shah asked the members to support the government when such a historic legislation is taking place.
Participating in the debate, BJP MP from Udhampur and Union Minister Jitendra Singh said Article 370 worked as a 'facililator' to encourage terrorism in the Valley and Pakistan also got opportunity to mislead Kashmiri youths.
Describing the occasion as momentous, Dr Singh paid tributes to Syama Prasad Mookerjee and said the Late leader once said ''Go and tell the world, I have entered Kashmir and now, from up, great Mookerjee will be saying 'Go and tell the world Modi had abrogated Article 370'.''(UNI)