Jammu BJP raises concerns over new J&K domicile rule with national leadership, Amit Shah

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/jammu-bjp-raises-concerns-over-new-jk-domicile-rule-with-national-leadership-amit-shah/article31245991.ece

The notification of domicile rules for the newly created Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has the Jammu unit of the BJP worried and upset, as it not only loosens the criteria of who can claim domicile but only keeps lower level jobs reserved for locals with higher level jobs open for all.

The local unit flagged these concerns with the party’s national leadership and also with Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Also read | Kashmir parties oppose Centre’s new domicile law

“According to what we gathered from the notification, only Group D jobs will be reserved for locals, while others are open for all. We have been told that the provincial services board will take care of some levels of hiring keeping locals in mind, but that is just oral assurance, the notification itself does not reassure us,” said a senior leader in Jammu BJP.

The notification, which came out on Wednesday in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, defines rules for claiming domicile and access to reserved government jobs for the people of the Union Territory. The reservation for domiciles will not apply to Group A and Group B posts and only to level 4 posts or posts that carry a payscale not more than level 4. “This means that all the higher level jobs are out of the purview of reservation for domiciles, also the 15-year threshold for claiming domicile means that anyone who comes in to work in J&K and stays on for 15 years, their children, if they stay here, will be considered for domicile,” said a source. No cut off date for calculating this 15- year period has, as yet, been notified.

“We are facing a popular backlash from our people on this issue and it will harm us as and when polls take place,” said a local leader who did not want to come on record.

Fears are valid: Ram Madhav

Speaking to The Hindu, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, who has been handling Jammu and Kashmir for the party for a long time, said that there were issues that the Jammu unit of the party had flagged, and that “their fears are valid.”

Also read | Grand mufti, Hurriyat, Panthers Party oppose domicile laws

He also confirmed that Mr. Shah had been also been apprised of the concerns of the people of Jammu and he had assured that he would look into it.

“There are some issues with regard to the domicile notification that have been flagged, especially with regards to reserving jobs for locals, and to an extent these fears are valid,” said Mr. Madhav.

The Ministry of Home Affairs’ reply to a parliamentary panel on February 18 stated that there were over 84,000 vacancies in J&K, of which 22,078 vacancies pertained to Class IV jobs, 54375 to non-gazetted and 7552 vacancies in gazetted posts.

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