Published:  02:43 AM, 11 August 2019

Indian cabinet clears J & K move in 'just 7 minutes'

Indian cabinet clears J & K move in 'just 7 minutes' Security forces personnel patrol a deserted street during restrictions in Srinagar. -Reuters

The Indian cabinet meeting that cleared the proposals for nullification of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir lasted "just seven minutes" and Union home minister Amit Shah's references to them were greeted by laud applause from the ministers present, a person privy to the matter said.

Earlier this week, Parliament cleared the Narendra Modi government's proposals to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status a long-standing promise of the Bharatiya Janata Party and carve the state into two Union territories that would allow New Delhi direct control in matters of law and order and other critical issues, reports Hindustan times. "The moment Amit Shah referred to Article 370, ministers started thumping the desk.

It was an emotional moment in the cabinet meeting," the person mentioned above said. "Most of those who are in Modi's cabinet follow the ideology of Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, who gave his life for the integration of Kashmir with the rest of India."

The move was kept a closely guarded secret between Modi, Shah and a few others. More people were involved just a few days before the bill and presidential order were brought before the Rajya Sabha. The decision to bring the matter first to the Rajya Sabha.

 where the government does not have a majority on its own, was a carefully thought-out stratagem to take the Opposition by surprise. "The Opposition was caught off-guard, completely," the person quoted above said. "That was our purpose."

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