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Lok Sabha resumes discussion on the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 & Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023

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New Delhi: The Lok Sabha today resumed discussion on the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, amends the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004.  The Act provides reservation in jobs and admission in professional institutions to members of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and other socially and educationally backward classes.

On the other hand, the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 amends the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.

The 2019 Act amended the Second Schedule of the 1950 Act to specify the total number of seats in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly to be 83. The proposed Bill increases the total number of seats to 90. It also reserves seven seats for Scheduled Castes and nine seats for Scheduled Tribes. The Bill adds that the Lieutenant Governor may nominate up to two members from the Kashmiri migrant community to the Legislative Assembly. One of the nominated members must be a woman. Migrants are defined as persons who migrated from the Kashmir Valley or any other part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir after 1st November 1989 and are registered with the Relief Commissioner.

Replying to the debate, Home Minister Amit Shah said, the Bills aim to give justice to the people who were overlooked in the past 70 years. He stressed that deprived people in a society should be given their rights. Mr Shah highlighted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants the welfare of all sections of society, including the Kashmiri migrant community. He said the Bills will prove to be beneficial for the socially, economically and educationally backward classes of Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr Shah also accused the Congress party of not doing anything for the backward classes of the country.

Earlier, participating in the discussion, Jagdambika Pal of BJP highlighted developmental work underway in Jammu and Kashmir. He said several initiatives have been taken to improve infrastructure and connectivity in the UT. Mr Pal said tourism has increased by 59 per cent and jobs are being provided to local youths in different sectors.

Nama Nageswara Rao of BRS supported the Bill demanding assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

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