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Kashmir turmoil: What is Article 370 that govt has proposed to revoke

Since Article 370 (1) (d) of the Constitution was issued under Presidential Order, the President can make certain ‘exceptions and modifications’ to the Constitution for the benefit of ‘State subjects’ of Jammu and Kashmir.

As fear and panic mounted in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday moved proposal to remove Article 370 in the Rajya Sabha amid much uproar.

Before the introduction of the bill, the Kashmir turmoil rocked the Rajya Sabha as Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad raised the current situation in Kashmir.

Entire Kashmir is under curfew with Section 144 being imposed in several districts. It’s a war-like situation with mobile phones and internet services shutdown. Three CMs are under house arrest. That should be discussed first, Ghulam Nabi Azad said in the Rajya Sabha.

Earlier, the crucial Union Cabinet met at the official residence of Prime Minister in New Delhi on Monday morning. The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was held at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg in New Delhi.

Since Article 370 (1) (d) of the Constitution was issued under Presidential Order, the President can make certain ‘exceptions and modifications’ to the Constitution for the benefit of ‘State subjects’ of Jammu and Kashmir.

What is Article 370 that the government has sought to revoke:

1. According to the Constitution of India, Article 370 provides temporary provisions to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, granting it special autonomy.

2. The article says that the provisions of Article 238, which was omitted from the Constitution in 1956 when Indian states were reorganised, shall not apply to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

3. In 1949, the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had directed Kashmiri leader Sheikh Abdullah to consult Ambedkar (then law minister) to prepare the draft of a suitable article to be included in the Constitution.

4. Article 370 was eventually drafted by Gopalaswami Ayyangar

5. Ayyangar was a minister without portfolio in the first Union Cabinet of India. He was also a former Diwan to Maharajah Hari Singh of Jammu and Kashmir

6. Article 370 is drafted in Amendment of the Constitution section, in Part XXI, under Temporary and Transitional Provisions.

7. The original draft explained “the Government of the State means the person for the time being recognised by the President as the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers for the time being in office under the Maharaja’s Proclamation dated the fifth day of March, 1948.”

8. On November 15, 1952, it was changed to “the Government of the State means the person for the time being recognised by the President on the recommendation of the Legislative Assembly of the State as the Sadr-i-Riyasat (now Governor) of Jammu and Kashmir, acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers of the State for the time being in office.”

9. Under Article 370, the Indian Parliament cannot increase or reduce the borders of the state.

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