SRINAGAR, Oct 31 - As the clock struck 12 and a new day beckoned, Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday transitioned from a state into two union territories with a wary Valley shutting down as it has for 88 days and Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying the �new system� is aimed at �building a strong link of trust�.
President Ram Nath Kovind revoked President�s rule imposed in the restive state, long the centre of global attention, and took over control of the administration of the two new Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
This is the first time that a state is being downsized into Union Territories, the two new entities taking the total number of UTs to nine and bringing down the number of states in India to 28.
This was in accordance with the government�s August 5 announcement withdrawing the state�s special status under Article 370 and bifurcating the state into union territories.
Girish Chandra Murmu in Jammu and Kashmir and Radha Krishna Mathur in Ladakh stepped into history as the first lieutenant governors of the new union territories. Jammu and Kashmir High Court Chief Justice Gita Mittal administered the oath of office to the new appointees, first in Leh and then later in the day in Srinagar.
As the changes came into effect, the Prime Minister was at the Statue of Unity in Kevadiya in Gujarat where he paid glowing tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 144th birth anniversary and led the �national unity pledge�.
Defending the abrogation of Article 370, he said the special status provisions only generated terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.
�The new system in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh is not meant to draw a line on the land (to draw a boundary) but to build a strong link of trust,� the Prime Minister said.
In a swipe at Pakistan, he said those �who cannot win wars� against India are trying to destroy its unity. � PTI