With support of BJP allies, legislation may be through
KPs, PoJK refugee to get 3 nominated seats after Prez assent
Jammu, Dec 11:
crucial bills which got the nod of Lok Sabha on December 6 proposing nomination of two Kashmiri Pandits including a woman and one Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK) refugee to the UT Legislative Assembly are likely to be introduced in Rajya Sabha by Union Home Minister Amit Shah tomorrow.
Introduction of the bills will be followed by a debate by the Rajya Sabha members and reply by the Home Minister and pass motion. Though the BJP is few seats short of majority in the Rajya Sabha, it enjoys support of a number of allies and passing of the twin bills will not be a problem for the Government.
Once approved by the Rajya Sabha, the bills will go for assent of the President of India. As soon as the President gives her nod to the bills, they will become a law and two Kashmiri Pandits and a PoJK refugee will get right to nomination in the Legislative Assembly whenever elections are held and the House is constituted.
While there are five members from Jammu and Kashmir in Lok Sabha and four of them participated in debate on the bills, there is only one member from the Union Territory in Rajya Sabha–Ghulam Ali Khatana (Nominated) who will speak on the legislations.
Jammu and Kashmir has four seats in Rajya Sabha and all four MPs had completed their six-year term in March 2021 including then Leader of Opposition and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. All these four seats are now lying vacant in the absence of Assembly elections in the Union Territory.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Amendment) Bill, 2023 proposed nomination of two Kashmiri Pandits including one woman and one PoJK refugee to J&K Assembly while Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 proposed to give reservation to Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in J&K.
Presently, only four percent reservation was given to Other Social Castes (OSCs). The bill proposed to change nomenclature of OSCs to OBCs. Percentage of OBCs will be decided during its implementation.
After Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Amendment) Bill, 2023 gets the President’s nod, effective strength of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly will go up to 95 while total strength will rise to 119 including 24 seats reserved for Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK). Already there is provision for nomination of two women in the J&K Assembly. All five nominated MLAs will have voting rights.
While percentage of reservation to be given to OBCs is yet to be decided, it is expected to be in two digits, as per the officials. They said the percentage will be finalized soon after the bill gets President’s nod following approval by the Parliament.
“This will fulfill long pending demand of OBCs for reservation in Government jobs and educational institutions to them,” the sources said.
The Government also proposed to introduce Women Reservation Bill for Jammu and Kashmir in the Parliament in the current session.
The bill seeks to reserve 33 percent seats out of total 90 in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly for women which comes out around 29-30. Within the seats reserved for women, some seats could also be reserved for SC women and ST women.
Already in the House of 90, nine seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribes (STs) and seven for Scheduled Castes (SCs). Nearly 45-46 seats will be reserved in Jammu and Kashmir Assembly after the Women Reservation Bill is passed in the Parliament.
Besides, two more bills pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir which were introduced in Lok Sabha during Monsoon session of the Parliament haven’t been taken up for debate and pass motions.
One of the bills pertains to grant of Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to Pahari Ethnic Tribe, Paddari Tribe, Gadda Brahmans and Kolis.
Another bill will include Valmikis in the list of Scheduled Castes.(By Daily Excelsior)