Abrogation of Article 370 that gives special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir had long been on the BJP’s wish list and was also mentioned in the party’s election manifesto earlier this year, yet the announcement that the controversial law had been done away with came as a surprise. As did Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement in Parliament that the government will bifurcate the state into two union territories. In this chat, SNI Editor-in-Chief Nitin Gokhale tells Deputy Editor Parul Chandra that though the timing was a surprise, it was done in a planned manner to avoid any legal challenges. He also explains that the Centre, through a presidential order, used a provision under the law to take away the special status of J&K while superseding the 1954 presidential order on Article 35A that gave permanent residents of the state special rights to employment, ownership of property, etc.
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