Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill-2023 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Amendment) Bill-2023
On 6 December 2023, the Lok Sabha passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill-2023 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Amendment) Bill-2023 by voice vote. Responding in the Lok Sabha, Home Minister Amit Shah said that the bill has been brought to provide reservation under Other Backward Classes to the displaced people who have been deprived of their rights for years and have been fighting for respect.
Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill 2023
The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill 2023 amends the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004. The Act provides reservation in admission to jobs and professional institutions to members of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other socially and educationally backward classes.
Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Amendment) Bill 2023
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Amendment) Bill, 2023 amends the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act 2019. The 2019 Act amended the Second Schedule of the 1950 Act to specify the total number of seats in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly as 83. In this, six seats were reserved for Scheduled Castes. No seats were reserved for Scheduled Tribes. In the current bill the total number of seats has been increased to 90. It also reserves seven seats for Scheduled Castes and nine seats for Scheduled Tribes.
The bill states that the Lieutenant Governor can nominate a maximum of two members from the Kashmiri migrant community to the Assembly. One of the nominated members must be a woman. The bill also states that the Lieutenant Governor can nominate one member to the Legislative Assembly representing the displaced persons of Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Purpose of Bills
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said that the objective of the current bills is positive and he requests everyone to pass them unanimously. He said that 46 thousand 631 families were displaced from the state during the period of terrorism. Apart from this, 41 thousand 844 families were displaced during the wars with Pakistan. The purpose of the bill is to give these people their rights with dignity.
Detailed description of changes
The Home Minister gave a detailed description of the changes that came after the removal of Article 370 in 2019. He said that this article was at the root of separatism, by removing which the feeling of separatism will gradually end. He said that due to this, there has been a 70 percent reduction in terrorist incidents in the valley, 72 percent reduction in civilian deaths and 59 percent reduction in armed forces deaths. Apart from this, stone pelting and organized strikes have also become negligible now.
After the judicial delimitation in the state, now 9 seats have been reserved for the Scheduled Caste category. Now there will be 43 assembly seats in Jammu instead of 37 and 47 assembly seats in Kashmir instead of 46. Whereas 24 seats have been reserved for Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. The total seats have been increased from 107 to 114. Two seats will be designated for the displaced people and two for the people of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.