‘House Of Elders’ Abolished

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On the way to become Union Territory, government has abolished the 36 member of Legislative council   of J&K. Order issued by the state government on October 17 asked council of 116 member staff to report before General Administration department (GAD) by October 22.

“Consequent to the abolition of the Jammu and Kashmir legislative council in terms of section 57 of reorganization act, 2019, it is ordered that all staff of state legislative council shall report to the GAD by October 22”. All the records pertaining to the council secretariat including related to legislative business shall be transferred to the Department of Law, Justice parliamentary affairs by the secretary, according to the order. Order issued by the secretary of state department, Farooq Ahmad Lone , also directed the transfer of all vehicles purchased from time to time to the director state motor garages and handing over of the building of the council along with furniture and electronic gadgets to the director estates.

The council was functioning as an upper house to the 87 member legislative assembly. With the abolition of LC the current 22 members have also lost their membership, in which BJP 10 members, PDP had 8 NC 3 and Congress was with one member in LC. Interestingly, this council was never dissolved before, to keep the existence of the House alive in 1994-95 the then governor KV Krishna Rao nominated Hakeem Habibullah  as Chairman of the as the tenure was completed of all the other members.

The 36-member Legislative council was established in 1957 through an act passed in the parliament. LA was reduced to 83 seats after the Ladakh division which had 4 LA seats was changed into Union Territory without having Legislative assembly.

After the assent given by the President Ramnath Kovind to the J&K Reorganization act 2019, for bifurcation of the erstwhile state and two UTs, the J&K (UT with LA) and Ladakh (without LA) will  be into existence on 31 October 2019, on the birthday of Shayama Prasad Mukharkjee.

J&K will be the third Union territory after Delhi and Pondicherry to have legislative assembly. State flag is also removed from civil secretariat and other state buildings shortly after the abrogation of special status as it was adopted before 77 years by the constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir. On June 7, 1952, a resolution was passed by the constituent assembly of J&K making the red color flag with three strips depicting three regions (Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh) with white symbol of plough, as the official flag.

Therefore, after the reorganization both the UTs will be directly under the centre’s rule. There are at least 106 laws of Indian constitution which will be applicable in both UTs. Moreover the strength of cabinet ministers shall not exceed more than ten with chief minister. Prior to it in 2006 Gulam Nabi Azad led Government amended constitution and restricted the strength of ministers to 24. While the number of Lok Sabha MPs will be same as five from J&K and one from Ladakh while there will be four Rajya Sabha members from J&K.

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