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Centre brings law to allow outsiders to buy land in Kashmir, BJP sells it at Bihar poll campaign

Easterntimes, New Delhi, October 28, New Delhi: After the Centre on Tuesday notified the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, enabling a host of new changes to the former state, including opening up the state to outsiders to buy land which was so far disallowed, BJP did not a waste a day in selling the idea at elections rallies in Bihar.

On Wednesday the party’s poll campaign used slogans like “now a boy from Bhagalpur can buy land in Kashmir” as an achievement of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.

Under the new arrangements, no domicile or permanent resident certificate is required to purchase non-agricultural land in the UT. The Union home ministry has also notified the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, paving way for the acquisition of land in J&K by all Indian citizens. Previously, article 35-A of J&K Constitution, watered down on August 5, 2019, placed prohibitions on the sale of land to those who were not state subjects.

The order also allows the government to declare any area in Jammu and Kashmir as ‘strategic’ and intended for the direct operational and training requirement of the armed forces at the behest of an army officer of or above the rank of a corps commander.

Political parties across the spectrum have strongly denounced the new changes. “The new land laws are unacceptable to us,” Omar Abdullah told India Today. “Basic protections that are available to similar states like Himachal Pradesh haven’t been given to us.

Nobody can buy land there and in numerous other such states. J&K has been put up for sale. They want to alter the character of this place. In a federal structure, they cannot overrule the people of J&K. This is not a dictatorship. They have betrayed the people of Ladakh as well. Look, how they have brought these laws soon after the completion of the LADH elections.

If they had done it before, they would have never won there.”

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