The ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government on August 5, 2019 took a giant political and Constitutional leap by abrogating Article 370 that gave Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) a special status. The J&K Reorganisation Bill, 2019 that got Presidential assent on August 9, 2019, reorganised the State of J&K into two Union Territories (UTs) — the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, and the Union Territory of Ladakh. The Union Territory of Ladakh will include the districts of Leh and Kargil, whereas J&K will comprise all the other districts.

The administration of the UT of J&K will be as per the Article 239 of the Constitution of India by a Lieutenant Governor appointed by the President of India. The UT will have a legislative assembly of 107 to 114 members, whose tenure will be five years instead of 6 years-tenure of the J&K State Assembly. A Council of Ministers including a Chief Minister will be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor from the members of the legislative assembly which may make laws for any of the matters in the State List except ‘public order’ and ‘police’ that will remain with the Union Government. Ladakh will be administered by a Lieutenant Governor alone. Out of the six Lok Sabha seats allocated to the State of J&K, one will be allocated to Ladakh and the remaining five will remain with the UT of J&K. The High Court of J&K will function as the High Court for both the UTs.

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Views expressed by the author are personal and need not reflect or represent the views of Centre for Public Policy Research

K V Thomas
K V Thomas
K V Thomas is Senior Fellow at CPPR. He has over 36 years of distinguished service in the Intelligence Bureau (Ministry of Home Affairs) of India where he rose to become the Associate Director. He can be contacted at thomas@cppr.in

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