Bifurcated UTs would become ‘state’ again when normal: Shah

New Delhi: Blaming the Constitution’s Articles 370 and 35A for Jammu and Kashmir’s backwardness, violence and terrorism, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said that removal of the controversial provisions would end bloodshed in the state and ensure its economic growth.

Replying to members after the debate on the resolution to scrap the contentious provision and bifurcate the state into two Union territories (UTs), the Minister said that the UT status would not be permanent and the “state” will be restored once normalcy returns.

Shah said that the state had paid very heavy price due to Article 370 that has impeded the growth of the state even as the country has moved on over the years.

He said that because of Article 370, as many as 48,849 people had died in the state from 1989 to 2018. “Further, terrorism had gripped the state for decades and the reason is Article 370. Democracy never took deeper root in the state due to this provision. Because of this article, the youth had to go out of the state for education,” he said.

Shah said that the Centre had spent massively for development of Jammu and Kashmir but the state had remained poor. “This was mainly because of high level of corruption in the state with three major families controlling it,” he said.

Many provisions of the Constitution do not apply to the state because of Article 370, he said, noting that even today the 73rd and 74th Amendments of the Constitution, on panchayats and urban local bodies, respectively, does not apply to the state.

“Today, this House would pass the bill. Then tomorrow, Lok Sabha will pass it and then both 73rd and 74th Amendment will automatically will apply to the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” Shah said.

The Minister had earlier in the day moved the resolution and bills to scrap Article 370 which grants special status to the state of J&K. The government also announced that it will bifurcate the state into two UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Shah moved a resolution in the House to abolish Article 370 after the President issued a notification in this regard and also moved the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019.

With the removal of Article 370 and 35A, people from other states would be able to buy land and properties in the state. This is expected to integrate the state in the true sense, by allowing the businesses to grow and the society to prosper.