As of 31st October 2019, J&K and Ladakh are officially union territories, as The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, came into effect.
Today marks the 86th day of the announcement of the abrogation of the state’s special status and its bifurcation by Home minister Amit Shah on August 5.
With the bifurcations and conversion of J&K into two UTs, the President’s rule imposed in undivided Jammu and Kashmir was also revoked.
The central rule was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir in June 2017 after the resignation of then Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti when the BJP withdrew support to the PDP-led government.
The UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will be headed by lieutenant governors G C Murmu and R K Mathur, respectively. R K Mathur was sworn in as the LG of Ladakh by Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Geeta Mittal.
Beyond the symbolic importance — October 31 is the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel — the day will mark the beginning of the functioning of the two UTs at a bureaucratic level.
The announcement of the official bifurcation on 31st October is of symbolic significance as it is the birth anniversary of Vallabh Bhai Patel, who is credited for merging all princely states into the Union of India.
Today PM Modi is at the Statue of Unity made to honor Vallabh Bhai Patel near Narmada dam to celebrate it as ‘National Unity Day’.
As of today, the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and the Ranbir Penal Code cease to exist.
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.
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.
Other appointments announced were ahead of the official date, with IAS officer Umang Narula being made advisor to the Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Ladakh, while Inspector General SS Khandare was appointed as the police head of the new Union territory.
Even after the official bifurcation, however, the rules to govern the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act of 2019 are yet to be notified.
For full-fledged bifurcation, the Reorganisation Act gives a period of one year. Reorganisation of states is a slow process that at times can take years; issues relating to reorganisation of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, which was bifurcated into Andhra and Telangana in 2013, are still being brought to the Union Home Ministry for resolution.
On the other hand, China has voiced strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to India’s move of officially establishing new union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, which they claim includes “Chinese territories,” Chinese media People’s Daily reported.