The Parliament on Tuesday passed a bill to provide reservation to Other Backward Classes in local bodies in Jammu and Kashmir. The government said that the Union territory has undergone important changes since the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019. Replying to the debate on the Jammu and Kashmir Local Bodies Law (Amendment) Bill-2024, Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai highlighted that the people of the Union Territory have started witnessing development done by the Narendra Modi government.
At present, there is no provision for reservation of seats for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in panchayats and municipalities in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Bill seeks to provide reservation to OBCs in panchayats and municipalities in Jammu and Kashmir and bring consistency in the local body laws of the Union territory with the provisions of the Constitution.
“With this, justice will be ensured to the citizens of Other Backward Classes of Jammu and Kashmir for the first time after 75 years of independence,” according to the statement of objects and reasons of the bill.
Rai, during the discussion on the Bill in Lok Sabha, said that he made no reference to the Opposition’s demand for the government to declare a time frame for holding of elections in Jammu and Kashmir and the restoration of statehood.
Rai said the opposition members, participating in the debate, were resorting to a drama of supporting the bill granting reservation to OBCs in panchayats and municipalities in Jammu and Kashmir and were raising other issues.