The Lok Sabha will take up the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 for consideration and passing on August 6. This comes a day after the Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha.
The J&K Reorganisation Bill proposes to bifurcate the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories. Union Home Minister Amit Shah on August 5 had announced the proposal to turn J&K into a UT with a legislature and the Ladakh region into a separate UT without a legislature.
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Put to vote after a debate, the bill was passed in the Upper House with 125 for to 61 votes against. This, even as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) does not command a majority in the House.
The Bill got a smooth passage after many non-aligned parties including the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) backed it. Naveen Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy's YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) also extended their support to the Bill.
The only member party of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) which did not support the Bill was Janata Dal (United). Members of Parliament (MPs) from the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led party staged a walkout.
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How the Bill could sail smoothly in the Lok Sabha
At present, the strength of the Lok Sabha is 541. The BJP itself has 302 elected MPs who are eligible to vote (minus Speaker Om Birla).
The government needs a simple majority to pass the Bill. The saffron party has issued a whip ordering all its MPs to be present in the Lok Sabha. The party’s current tally would be enough for the Bill to be passed.
It is expected that the parties would vote the same way as they voted in the Rajya Sabha. The YSRCP has 22 MPs while the BJD has 12 MPs in the House.
The Centre on August 5 had also moved a resolution revoking Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. Shah informed the House that President Ram Nath Kovind has signed the official notification abrogating Article 370.Follow LIVE updates of the J&K developments here