The Centre Saturday nominated Gulam Ali, a Gurjar Muslim from Jammu and Kashmir, to Rajya Sabha. This is perhaps for the first time that a Gurjar Muslim from the region has been sent to the Upper House as a nominated member.
The move has political significance given that Gurjar Muslims have sizable population in the hilly regions of Jammu and Kashmir, where elections are expected soon.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-clause (a) of clause (I) of article 80 of the Constitution of India, read with clause (3) of that article, the President is pleased to nominate Shri Gulam Ali to the Council of States to fill the vacancy caused due to the retirement of one of the nominated members,” a notification issued by the Union Home Ministry said.
According to the 2011 Census, Gurjar is the most populous Scheduled Tribe in J&K, having a population of 14.93 lakh. Around 99.3 per cent population of Gurjars and Bakarwals in J&K follow Islam.
The move is also significant as before the abrogation of the Article 370 that gave a special status to the state, the community had little representation in legislative bodies.
The government abrogated Article 370 in August 2019 and bifurcated the erstwhile state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
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