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India is today integrated fully: What changes in J&K and Ladakh

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New Delhi, Oct 31: It is a historic day today and on the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are born as Union Territories. On August 5 2019, Union Home Minister, Amit Shah had announced in Parliament that Article 370 was being abrogated and this paved the way for the interrogation of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of India.

For Ladakh in particular, it was a long standing wish that has been fulfilled. Jammu and Kashmir would have its own legislative assembly. The Election Commission would carry out a delimitation exercise which would increase the number of seats in Jammu and Kashmir.

What changes in J&K and Ladakh

Following the delimitation exercise the number of seats would be increased to 114 including the 24 vacant ones for Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

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Further, the balance between Jammu and Kashmir would be struck with an equal number of seats for each region. Kashmir had 46 seats, while Jammu had 37 and four belonged to Ladakh.

Another major change that would be effected is the tenure of the legislative assembly. The tenure would be brought down to five years as opposed to the current 6 years.

Further, the number of sitting MPs from J&K would be five and there would be two from Ladakh.

Most importantly the laws that are passed by the Parliament will be applicable to Jammu and Kashmir as well as Ladakh. Earlier Pakistani nationals were eligible for Indian citizenship after marrying Indian women from Kashmir. This would not be applicable anymore.

In addition to this women would be free from being subject to sharia. A woman from Kashmir cannot be denied the right to inheritance if she married someone from outside Kashmir.

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There are other laws that would have jurisdiction over the two Union Territories such as the Right to Information, Right to Education, Panchyat Raj Institutions.

There would be scrutiny of government expenditure by the CAG apart from reservation of seats for SCs/STs in jobs, education as well as legislature. The other two major laws which would have jurisdiction are the rights of Hindus as Sikhs as minority communities and right of Indians from other states to own property apart from settling in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

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