End of J&K as state, UTs Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh come into existence

This is for the first time that a state is being converted into two UTs. The total number of states in the country will now be 28, while the total UTs will go up to nine.

The President’s rule imposed in undivided Jammu and Kashmir was on Thursday (October 31) revoked following bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories 86 days after the Parliament abrogated its special status under Article 370.

The UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will be headed by lieutenant governors GC Murmu and RK Mathur, respectively. They will take oath on Thursday.

This is for the first time that a state is being converted into two UTs. The total number of states in the country will now be 28, while the total UTs will go up to nine.

The swearing-in ceremony will be first held in Leh where Mathur would be administered oath of office followed by that of Murmu in Srinagar.

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With this, the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and the Ranbir Penal Code will cease to exist from Thursday, when the nation celebrates National Unity Day to mark the birth anniversary of the country’s first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who is credited for the merger of over 560 states into the Union of India.

Both Murmu and Mathur will be sworn-in by Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Gita Mittal.

The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, states that the appointed day for the two UTs is October 31 and these will come into existence in midnight (Wednesday-Thursday).

The announcement of the abrogation of the states special status and its bifurcation was made in Rajya Sabha on August 5.

The UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature like Puducherry while Ladakh will be a UT without legislature like Chandigarh and both the UTs will be headed by two separate lieutenant governors (LG), as per the Act.

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The Centre will be in direct control of the police and the law and order in Jammu and Kashmir from Thursday when it becomes a UT, while the land will be under the elected government there.

The UT of Ladakh will be under the direct control of the central government which will administer the high-altitude region through the LG.

Senior IAS officer Umang Narula was appointed an advisor to Ladakh’s Lt Governor and SS Khandare police head of the UT.

The Presidents rule imposed in undivided Jammu and Kashmir too was revoked on Thursday.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of the article 356 of the Constitution, I, Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, hereby revoke the proclamation issued by me under the said article on the 19th December 2018 in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir,” the official notification said.

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Earlier, the central rule was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir in June 2018 after the resignation of the then Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti when the BJP withdrew support to the PDP led government.

The central rule as Governor’s rule continued for six months. After six months, the President’s rule was imposed for the next six months which was subsequently extended with the approval of Parliament.