Objecting to the proposal of the Delimitation Commission set up to redraw the boundaries of the assembly constituencies, the PDP, Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party and People’s Conference said that the commission gave priority to the political agenda of the BJP rather than the figures in its recommendations. Is.
New Delhi: The Delimitation Commission, set up with the objective of re-determining the boundaries of assembly constituencies for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, proposed six additional seats in the Jammu region and one additional seat in the Kashmir Valley, while reserving 16 seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Is.
This was objected by parties such as the National Conference and accused the commission of allowing the political agenda of the BJP to dictate its recommendations.
The PDP, the J&K Apni Party and the People’s Conference (PC), which is known to be friendly to the BJP, also strongly opposed the commission’s draft recommendations, which would change the electoral map of Jammu and Kashmir.
At present there are 46 seats in Kashmir division and 37 in Jammu.
Sources said that nine seats for Scheduled Tribes (ST) and seven seats for Scheduled Castes (SC) have been proposed in Jammu and Kashmir.
The commission, headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Desai, held its second meeting here on Monday. Five Lok Sabha members from Jammu and Kashmir are associate members of the commission and Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra are its ex-officio members.
Three Lok Sabha members of the party, including National Conference President and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, attended the commission’s meeting for the first time. Two BJP MPs including Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh were also present in the meeting.
Sources said political parties have been asked to submit their views on the proposed increase in seat numbers by December 31.
Abdullah, president of the five-party Gupkar Alliance (PAGD), said after the meeting that he would brief the group as well as his party colleagues about the deliberations of the commission.
Abdullah said, ‘We attended the meeting for the first time because we wanted the voice of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to be heard. The meeting took place in an amicable manner and we were all informed about the method adopted to arrive at the conclusion.
He said, ‘I will discuss with my senior party leaders before sending my views to the commission. We have not even been told about the seats they are reserving for SCs and STs.
National Conference vice-president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah reacted strongly, tweeting that it is very disappointing that the commission allowed the political agenda of the BJP to dictate its recommendations rather than statistics.
It is deeply disappointing that the commission appears to have allowed the political agenda of the BJP to dictate its recommendations rather than the data which should have been it’s only consideration. Contrary to the promised “scientific approach” it’s a political approach.
– Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) December 20, 2021
“It is a political approach, contrary to the promised ‘scientific approach’,” he said.
Omar said that the draft recommendation of the Delimitation Commission is unacceptable. The distribution of the newly created assembly constituency – six for Jammu and only one for Kashmir – is not fair according to the 2011 census data.
The Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, headed by former minister Altaf Bukhari, also rejected the commission’s proposal.
It said, ‘This is completely unacceptable to us. Apni party demands a fair delimitation exercise on the basis of population and districts without any bias. We demand the intervention of the Government of India.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that this commission has been created only to serve the political interests of the BJP by dividing the people on religious and regional lines.
This commision has been created simply to serve BJPs political interests by dividing people along religious & regional lines. The real game plan is to install a government in J&K which will legitimise the illegal & unconstitutional decisions of August 2019.
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) December 20, 2021
He tweeted, ‘The commission has been created only to serve the political interests of BJP by dividing people on religious and regional lines. The real game plan is to set up a government in J&K that will legitimize the illegal and unconstitutional decisions of August 2019.
She was referring to the central government’s decisions to abrogate Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 and bifurcate the erstwhile state into two union territories.
“My apprehension about the Delimitation Commission was not misplaced. They want to pit people against each other by ignoring the census and proposing six seats for one region and only one seat for Kashmir.
People’s Conference chief Sajjad Lone said the commission’s recommendations were completely unacceptable.
The recommendations of the delimitation commission are totally unacceptable. They reek of bias. What a shock for those who believe in democracy.
– Sajad Lone (@sajadlone) December 20, 2021
He tweeted, ‘The recommendations of the Delimitation Commission are completely unacceptable. They are prejudiced. What a big blow to those who believe in democracy.
The Delimitation Commission was set up in February 2020 after the passage of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill in Parliament in August 2019.
Initially it was asked to complete its work within a year, but in March this year it was given an extension of one year, as the work could not be completed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The commission has been entrusted with the task of re-delineating the parliamentary and assembly constituencies in the union territory.
According to the Indian Express, political observers in Jammu said that the proposed increase of six seats in Jammu division was on expected lines, while no new constituency has been proposed in Jammu district, which has 11 seats.
He said the BJP may get a boost in the Pir Panjal and Chenab Valley regions as seats are proposed to be reserved for STs for the first time, which includes Gujjar and Bakarwal communities which are the third largest ethnic group in Jammu and Kashmir after Kashmiris and Dogras. are groups. Both groups live largely in the border districts of Rajouri and Poonch, apart from the Anantnag, Ganderbal and Bandipora areas of Kashmir.
During the 2014 elections, seven Gujjar leaders were elected to the assembly from Jammu division without any political reservation, especially from the Kangan area of Kashmir, apart from Rajouri and Poonch districts.
Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar in his presentation said that since the last delimitation, the number of districts had increased from 12 to 20 and the number of tehsils from 52 to 207. The commission has classified 20 districts into three broad categories: A, B, and C, giving a difference of 10 percent of the average population per constituency when allocating seats to districts.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a meeting with the leaders of Jammu and Kashmir on June 24, had said that the ongoing delimitation exercise should be completed soon so that elections can be held to establish an elected government.
The commission had held a meeting on June 23 this year, which was attended by all the 20 Deputy Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir. During this, ideas were sought to make the assembly constituencies more geographically organized.
24 seats in the assembly remain vacant as they come under Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).
(with input from news agency language)
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