Jammu And Kashmir, Ladakh to Become Union Territories Officially On Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's 144th Birth Anniversary
Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh on Map after bifurcation into UTs. Image Used For Representational Purpose Only. (Photo Credits: File Image)

New Delhi, August 9: President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday gave his approval to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which was passed by the Parliament on Tuesday to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir with an Assembly and Ladakh without one. According to an order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh will officially become union territories on October 31 that happens to be the 144th birth anniversary of the country’s first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

As Union Home Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel played a key role in the merger of about 565 princely states into the Union of India following Independence. "In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (a) of section 2 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 (34 of 2019), the Central Government hereby appoints the 31st day of October, 2019, as the appointed day for the purposes of the said Act," a home ministry notification said. Article 370 Revoked: Nirmal Singh Removes Jammu And Kashmir Flag From Official Vehicle, Watch Video.

President Kovind on Wednesday signed an order ending the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, a day after Parliament passed the resolution, along with a bill to bifurcate the state into two union territories. On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation and sought to assuage concerns of the people saying Jammu and Kashmir will not remain Union Territory for long. Jammu and Kashmir Loses Privileges Under Article 370, Article 35A: What Does it Mean For Kashmiris and Other Indians?

"As Jammu and Kashmir will see more and more development, I do not think it will remain Union Territory for long. Ladakh will remain a Union Territory," PM Modi said. The UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have a Lieutenant Governor and the maximum strength of its assembly will be 107, which will be enhanced to 114 after a delimitation exercise. Twenty-four seats of the Assembly will continue to remain vacant as they fall under Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

The current effective strength of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly is 87, including four seats falling in Ladakh region, which will now be a separate UT without a legislature. The UT of Ladakh will have Kargil and Leh districts.

The Act said Jammu and Kashmir UT will have reservation in the assembly seats.

The Lieutenant Governor of the successor UT of J-K may nominate two members to the Legislative Assembly to give representation to women, if in his opinion, women are “not adequately” represented in the Legislative Assembly. It also said that the Lok Sabha will have five seats from the UT of J-K, while from Ladakh the Lower House of Parliament will have one seat. (With PTI inputs)