- "The amendment will satisfy all," a senior government official said
- The earlier notification was criticised by National Conference, PDP
- It kept only lower level jobs reserved for locals
After a unified backlash from all political parties in Jammu and Kashmir including the BJP's local unit, the centre has changed rules involving government jobs in the union territory. All jobs will now be reserved for domiciles who have lived in the union territory for 15 years, the amendment said late Friday in a dramatic 180-flip of a move announced just two days ago.
"The amendment will satisfy all. As it was a demand from all parties of both regions," a senior official in the government told NDTV about the law that came around eight months after the centre withdrew special status to the former state under Article 370 and bifurcated it into two union territories.
Former Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said it was high time the people of J&K get to decide the laws that will govern them.
"It's high time the people of J&K get to decide the laws that will govern them rather than being subjected to the whims & fancies of the centre where orders are issued in the morning & changes to the same order issued in the evening. Restore statehood, conduct elections," he tweeted.
J&K Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah recently in Delhi to discuss domicile laws, said, "This order in its entirety is a casual attempt, cosmetic in nature, to hoodwink the people of J&K who genuinely believed that post October 31, 2019, their rights and privileges in the matter of employment and other rights would remain as it had been."
"I highly appreciate the home minister and national security advisor for understanding the genuine reservations put forth by the people of J&K vis-a-vis the new order defining domicile law in the matter of employment for Jammu and Kashmir. Their timely intervention made the requisite safeguards possible," he said.
The notification was also criticised by the People's Democratic Party (PDP), which warned the new law would give rise to "massive problems for residents of J&K".
The notification of domicile rules for the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir had triggered a major row as it not only loosened the criteria of who can claim residency but also opened up higher-level jobs open for all and kept only lower level jobs, such as junior assistant and peon, reserved for locals.
The local unit of the BJP, as well as the party's ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), raised its concerns with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other members of the national leadership.