On February 6, the Lok Sabha passed a bill to provide reservations to Other Backward Classes in local bodies in Jammu and Kashmir, with the government claiming that significant changes have taken place in the Union Territory since the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019.
Responding to a brief debate on the Jammu and Kashmir Local Bodies (Amendment) Bill, 2024, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have started enjoying the fruits of the development brought in by the government under President Narendra Modi.
At present, there is no provision for reservation of seats for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in panchayats and municipalities in Jammu and Kashmir.
The purpose of the Bill is to provide reservation to other backward classes in panchayats and municipalities in Jammu and Kashmir and to harmonize the local laws of the Union Territory with the provisions of the Constitution.
“Through this, the citizens of Other Backward Classes of Jammu and Kashmir will be guaranteed justice for the first time after 75 years of independence,” the statement on the objectives and rationale of the bill said.
In his reply to the debate on the Bill in the Lok Sabha, Mr. Rai said he did not refer to the opposition’s demand that the government set a time frame for holding elections in Jammu and Kashmir and restoring statehood.
Mr. Rai said the opposition members participating in the debate were resorting to the drama of support for the bill granting reservation to OBCs in panchayats and municipalities in Jammu and Kashmir and raising other issues.
“I want to make one thing clear, no matter how much you go around in circles, but in Jammu and Kashmir, wherever you go, you will only hear ‘Modi, Modi’ and the development brought in by Modi,” the minister said.
Earlier, members of the opposition in the Lok Sabha urged the government to hold parliamentary elections in Jammu and Kashmir as soon as possible.
(Other than the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from an aggregate source.)