In a significant development, Home Minister Amit Shah has presented a bill in the Lok Sabha seeking amendments to both the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act of 2004 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act of 2019, signaling a critical juncture in regional governance and representation.
Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act: The proposed amendments to the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act aim to broaden reservations in government positions and educational institutions. Notably, the bill introduces economic reservations for the economically weaker sections in commercial entities, emphasizing a more inclusive approach.
Reorganization Act: The suggested amendments propose an increase in seats within the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly from 83 to 90, along with specific allocations for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to ensure better representation.
Among the notable highlights of these proposed amendments is the empowerment of the Governor to nominate members from displaced persons of Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, emphasizing their inclusion in the Legislative Assembly. Additionally, the bill allows for the nomination of two members, including one woman, from Kashmiri migrants, aiming to safeguard their political and social rights while ensuring their adequate representation.
The term ‘migrant’ aligns with the Jammu and Kashmir Migrant Immovable Property Act of 1997, ensuring a clear and structured selection process.
Crucially, the Reorganization (Amendment) Bill proposes to reserve one-third of the total seats in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly for women. The suggested changes are in harmony with the larger movement advocating for women’s representation in legislative bodies, akin to the Constitutional (106th Amendment) Bill, which aims for a 33% reservation for women in both the Lok Sabha and state legislatures.