The Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die on Tuesday after clearing the extraordinary statutory resolution curtailing Article 370, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and a Bill for splitting the State into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh .

Home Minister Amit Shah, who piloted the resolution and the Bill, also told the Lok Sabha that India will continue to claim the Pakistan occupied territories of J&K and ruled out any talks with the separatist Hurriyat Conference. “India will continue to claim Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,” he said.

Shah said Article 370 has been creating doubts over J&K’s relations with India. “This is not a historic blunder, but we are rectifying the historic blunder,” he said dismissing the Opposition charges that the government was committing a mistake.

The Opposition accused the Centre of not consulting the “stakeholders” before taking a decision on abrogating the provisions of Article 370, a charge rejected by the treasury benches, which said Parliament represents the will of the people.

The resolution with regard to Article 370 was passed by the Lok Sabha with 351 members voting in its support and 72 against, while one member abstained. The Bill to create two UTs was passed in the House by 370 votes in favour and 70 against.

The resolution and the Bill were approved by the Rajya Sabha on Monday.

‘A bold move’

The move is being interpreted as bold and far-reaching as it seeks to redraw the map and future of a region which is at the centre of protracted militancy.

Shah withdrew the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (2nd Amendment) Bill, 2019, saying that the clauses incorporated in the legislation will automatically come into effect in the two new UTs. The Bill will also be withdrawn from the Rajya Sabha.

Replying to the debate on resolution, the Home Minister said the government will not hesitate to restore the statehood to Jammu and Kashmir when normalcy returns. He also strongly refuted the allegation that the abrogation of Article 370 was a “communal agenda” and said the provision in the Constitution was discriminatory and against the minorities, women and welfare of the people.

Defending the Centre’s action to put restrictions in the Kashmir Valley in the last two days, the Home Minister said the law-and-order situation there has not deteriorated, and whatever actions have been taken were all precautionary.

Participating in the debate, Opposition members said the decisions should have been taken by the State legislature. The Trinamool Congress walked out of House proceedings, saying it neither wants to support nor oppose both the moves. TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay said while the party supports the reservation Bill, it opposes the motion on Article 370 and the Reorganisation Bill.

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