Jammu and Kashmir will have political stability and the cycle of governments formed and brought down for vested interests will stop, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today on his government's decision to end special status to the state under Article 370 and split it into two union territories that come into existence from today. "Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are taking a step towards a new future today," PM Modi said, addressing a gathering in Gujarat's Kevadiya to mark the 144th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the day picked for Jammu and Kashmir's transformation to come into force.
Earlier in the day, Radha Krishna Mathur was sworn-in as the first Lt Governor of Union Territory of Ladakh. Mr Mathur was administered oath by chief justice of Jammu and Kashmir high court Geeta Mittal at a simple function held at Leh.
Girish Chandra Murmu took oath as the Lt Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. Sources say despite the government offices having moved from Srinagar to Jammu, the oath-taking ceremony is being held in Srinagar to highlight Kashmir's integration with the rest of the country.
Following the birth of two union territories nearly three months after the central government scrapped Jammu and Kashmir's decades-old special status under Article 370, President's rule imposed in undivided Jammu and Kashmir in June 2018 has been revoked, according to a government notification.
Neither Prime Minister Narendra Modi nor Home Minister Amit Shah are participating in the oath-taking ceremonies.
Satya Pal Mailk, 73, the outgoing Governor of J&K has been moved as the Governor of Goa.
With the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir, the number of states in India has come down to 28 and the number of Union Territories has gone up to nine. While Jammu and Kashmir will continue to have a legislature, like in Puducherry, Ladakh will be without one, like Chandigarh.
Here are the highlights from J&K, Ladakh which are now Union Territories:
RK Mathur, Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Ladakh, after taking oath: Development is composite, efforts will be made to carry out development work in all areas. A development package will be made, and education & health will play an important role in it. pic.twitter.com/RDZsHBsbhF- ANI (@ANI) October 31, 2019
#WATCH Srinagar: Girish Chandra Murmu takes oath as the first Lt. Governor of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The oath was administered by Chief Justice of J&K High Court, Gita Mittal. pic.twitter.com/SFFmBbfDMt- ANI (@ANI) October 31, 2019
- Jammu and Kashmir will have elected legislative assembly and council of ministers headed by the chief minister for the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Ladakh will not have an Assembly and will be directly governed by the Union Home Ministry through the Lieutenant-Governor. The Indian Constitution and the Indian laws would be applicable in the Union Territories.
- The strength of the Jammu and Kashmir assembly will be increased by seven seats to 114 from the existing 107 seats. While the strength of the council of ministers will be trimmed to 10 per cent of the total strength of the legislature.
- The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will continue to have five MPs in the Lok Sabha and will have four MPs in the Rajya Sabha. The Union Territory of Ladakh will have one MP.
- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will have a common high court. Panchayat would be more powerful under the new arrangement.
- For recruitment of officers, Ladakh shall come under the ambit of the Union Public Service Commission or UPSC, but Jammu and Kashmir will continue to have Public Service Commission (PSC) as the recruiting agency for the gazetted services.
- Over 100 central laws will become applicable to Jammu and Kashmir union territory. Ladakh will benefit the most and would get direct funding from the Centre.
- Through Article 35A of the constitution, only permanent citizens of the state had exclusive rights to own property and apply for government jobs. Now the laws related to ownership of land and property in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be amended and be applicable.
- The new Jammu and Kashmir Assembly will have a term of five years in place of current six years.
- The government employees of the new Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh -- will start getting salaries and other benefits per the recommendations of the seventh Pay Commission.
- The welfare schemes of the Centre will be applicable to the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The state police will come under direct control of the Ministry of Home Affairs.