New Delhi: Buying land in Jammu & Kashmir may not be so easy even after the Modi government’s invalidation of Article 370 and Article 35A. The state BJP wants the NDA government to restrict it on the lines of land laws in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Outsiders cannot buy agricultural land in Himachal without the permission of the state government while the Uttarakhand government has set a ceiling of 250 sqm for those from outside the state. There are similar restrictions and bans in many north-eastern states as well.
“Abrogation of Article 370 does not indicate that anybody from the outside can come and buy land. A person should have stayed in the state for a designated period of time to be eligible to buy land,” the Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina said.
“People who have been staying here for longer will be preferred for land and jobs. The priority is to stabilise the situation in the Valley.”
The state BJP leaders said they have already conveyed to the party’s central leadership on the need to enforce restrictions on the purchase of land and property in Jammu and Kashmir.
Leaders want domicile policy
Former J&K deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh has indicated that state BJP wants to implement a domicile-based policy to protect the land rights of locals.
“We would suggest this to the central government as well. In Himachal and Uttarakhand, there is a provision that nobody from the outside can come and buy as much land as they want,” Singh said. “We would want to protect the rights of Kashmiris. Unnecessary fear is being spread. The interests of Bakarwal, Balmikis and Gurjars of Kashmir will be protected.”
The BJP state vice-president Narendra Gupta told ThePrint that it won’t be a free-for-all when it comes to owning land.
“Earlier most of the land was occupied by a category of influential people. Now there will be certain kinds of restrictions on such practices. Locals will now be preferred,” he said.
“There is a lack of opportunities in the state. Mere 5 to 6 per cent of the people have government jobs,” he added. “More investment and opportunities will be created as directed by the prime minister in his speech. The government is also planning to organise an investment summit for the state in October that will help in employment generation.”