President Kovind gives assent to J&K Reorganisation Bill, two new UTs to come into effect from Oct 31https://indianexpress.com/article/india/president-ram-nath-kovind-gives-assent-to-jk-reorganisation-bill-two-new-uts-come-into-effect-5892839/

President Kovind gives assent to J&K Reorganisation Bill, two new UTs to come into effect from Oct 31

As the President gave his assent to the bill, the Jammu and Kashmir administration eased the restriction imposed in the state since August 5. The administration withdrew section 144 from Jammu and announced that schools will open on Saturday. 

President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019. (Reuters)

Days after the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 was passed by the Parliament, President Ram Nath Kovind Friday gave his assent to the legislation. The reorganisation bill provides for the formation of the Union Territory of Ladakh without Legislature and a separate one for Jammu and Kashmir with the Legislature.

The two new UTs will come into existence from October 31. The President has given assent to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, a home ministry official said.

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The Bill to bifurcate the state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir with a Legislature similar to Puducherry, and Ladakh without one like Chandigarh was passed with a two-thirds majority of the members present in Rajya Sabha. In Lok Sabha, the statutory resolution scrapping the special status was passed by a voice vote in the evening. With special provisions gone, Indian laws will now apply to the newly created Union Territories.

As the President gave his assent to the bill, the Jammu and Kashmir administration eased the restriction imposed in the state since August 5. The administration withdrew section 144 from Jammu and announced that schools will open on Saturday.

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On Thursday, in an address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised jobs, all-round development, transparent elections to the J&K Assembly as part of the new Union Territory and an end to terrorism.

US says no policy change on Kashmir
Security forces struggle with protestors and stone pelters in Kargil on Thursday. (Express photo/Tashi Tobgyal)

Reaching out to the people of the erstwhile state Modi said, “I assure that normalcy will return, and problems being faced will start decreasing.” Talking about the scrapping of special status, Modi added, “Abrogation of Article 370 is a reality, but it is also true that some preventive steps had to be taken and people there have to face problems because of this historic step. A handful of people want to stir trouble, and people will have to patiently respond to them…. I assure that normalcy will return, and the problems being faced will start decreasing. My wishes for Eid. We are making sure that you do not face any difficulty in celebrating this festival. We will help those who want to go home during Eid.”