Govt tweaks J&K laws to effect 10% reservation for EWS people

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Jammu: The Union cabinet on Thursday rolled out 10% reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS) in educational institutions and government jobs in Jammu and Kashmir and approved the benefit of promotion in service to the Scheduled Castes and Schedule Tribes. The new reservations will come in addition to existing quotas in the state.
The Centre also announced an ordinance will be promulgated to bring people residing in areas adjoining the international border within the ambit of reservation on a par with those living in areas adjoining the Actual Line of Control, in a move aimed at reaching out to the Jammu region. The Union home ministry said there had been no change in respect of Article 370 or 35A.
National Conference vice-president and former J&K CM Omar Abdullah appealed for a cautious approach and not to cause panic. “Why is social media linking this order to 35A? It’s about extending reservation. My lawyers tell me from the initial reading of it that it has no bearing on 35A at all. Please take a deep breath & ask experts before jumping to conclusions,” he tweeted. In another tweet, he said, “Please don’t rush to tweet without verifying what has been amended. From this tweet it is very clear you are not sure. I understand the amendment is about giving people near IB same reservations as people near LoC/ALC. Please check & hold back tweets till then. Don’t cause panic.” There was widespread apprehension that the government might tweak Article 35A, the constitutional provision that allows the state assembly to define permanent residents of J&K.
The Union cabinet, which cleared a host of proposals ahead of the imminent announcement of the Lok Sabha election schedule, approved “the proposal of Jammu & Kashmir Government regarding amendment to the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) 0rder, 1954 by way of the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Amendment Order, 2019,” finance minister Arun Jaitley told a press conference.
“It will serve the purpose of application of relevant provisions of the Constitution of India, as amended through the Constitution (Seventy Seventh Amendment) Act, 1995 and Constitution (One Hundred arid third Amendment) Act, 2019 for Jammu and Kashmir, by issuing the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Amendment Order, 2019 by the President under clause (1) of Article 370,” a government release later added.
The government had brought a new constitutional amendment in the winter session of Parliament to benefit the poor section of the population not covered under any of the existing quotas. The legislation had received widespread political support and was applied across the country except in J&K. Now, with the extension of the rule to J&K, the state’s poor people will be eligible for the quota.

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