The total number of states in India is now 28, while the total UTs will has gone up to nine
The state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) ceased to exist at midnight on October 30 and was converted into two Union Territories (UTs). This comes 86 days after Parliament abrogated its special status provided under Article 370.
The UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh will be headed by Lieutenant Governors GC Murmu and RK Mathur, respectively. They will take oath early on October 31.
This is for the first time that a state is being converted into two UTs. The total number of states in the country is now 28, while the total UTs has gone up to nine.
The swearing-in ceremony will be first held in Leh where Mathur would be administered oath of office followed by that of Murmu in Srinagar.
With this, the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and the Ranbir Penal Code will cease to exist from October 31, when the nation celebrates 'National Unity Day' to mark the birth anniversary of the country's first union home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who is credited for the merger of over 560 states into the Union of India.
Both Murmu and Mathur will be sworn-in by Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Gita Mittal.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, states that the appointed day for the two UTs is October 31 and these will come into existence in the midnight (Wednesday-Thursday).
The announcement of abrogation of the state's special status and its bifurcation was made in Rajya Sabha on August 5.
The UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature like Puducherry while Ladakh will be a UT without legislature like Chandigarh. Both UTs will be headed by separate Lieutenant Governors (LG), as per the Act.
The Centre will be in direct control of the police and the law and order in Jammu and Kashmir from October 31, while the land will be under the elected government there.
The UT of Ladakh will be under the direct control of the central government which will administer the high-altitude region through the LG.
President's Rule revoked
The President's Rule imposed in undivided J&K was also revoked on October 31 after bifurcation of the state into two UTs.
"In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of article 356 of the Constitution, I, Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, hereby revoke the proclamation issued by me under the said article on the 19th December, 2018 in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir," the official notification said.
Earlier, the central rule was imposed in J&K in June 2017 after resignation of the then chief minister Mehbooba Mufti when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) withdrew support to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) led government.
The first central rule as 'Governor's Rule' continued for six months. After six months, President's Rule was imposed for next six months which was subsequently extended with the approval of Parliament.(With inputs from PTI)