Amit Shah’s first bill in Parliament today on Jammu and Kashmir quotas

A bill that proposes to give reservation in educational institutions and government jobs to those living within 10km of the International Border in Jammu, on a par with people living along the Line of Control in Kashmir, is likely to be tabled in the Lok Sabha on Monday. The Lower House is also expected to take up the Aadhaar Bill that allows the voluntary use of Aadhaar as an identity proof for opening bank accounts as well as procuring mobile phone connections.

According to the list of business for the Lower House, Union home minister Amit Shah is expected to table the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which allows amendments in the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004 to bring residents of areas adjoining International Border (IB) within the ambit of reservation on a par with persons living in areas adjoining Actual Line of Control (ALoC). Extending the benefits of reservation to the residents along the IB has been a long pending demand and is expected to benefit over 3 million residents.

In February, the Union cabinet had also approved amendments to the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) order, 1954, by the way of Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) amendment order, 2019, to provide 10% reservation for economically weaker sections, which include Scheduled Castes, Schedule Tribes, in educational institutions and government jobs in addition to the existing reservations in Jammu and Kashmir.

Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is also expected to table the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019. It will replace an ordinance issued in March and proposes stiff penalties for violation of norms. The Bill also proposes giving a child an option to exit from the biometric ID programme on attaining 18 years of age. In the Rajya Sabha, JP Nadda, the working president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is expected to move the motion of thanks on the President’s address.

The business advisory committee of the Upper House has proposed 12 hours for the motion of thanks to the address delivered by President Ram Nath Kovind to both the Houses on June 20. Following the President’s address to a joint session of Parliament at the beginning of a session after each Lok Sabha election, the ruling party moves a motion of thanks in both the two Houses.