Totally unacceptable: J&K parties irked as Delimitation Commission proposes six new seats for Jammu, one for Kashmir

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The Delimitation Commission has been tasked with redrawing the Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It has proposed six additional assembly seats for the Jammu region and one for Kashmir.

The Delimitation Commission tasked with redrawing the Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday proposed six additional assembly seats for the Jammu region and one for Kashmir. The meeting was attended by Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah along with party leaders Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masudi and BJP leader Jugal Kishore Sharma. The leaders have been asked to respond with changes and objections by the end of December.

If the proposals put forth by the Commission are implemented, the assembly seats for the Jammu region would rise to 43, while the Kashmir Valley would have 47 seats. Alongside, nine seats would be reserved for Scheduled Tribes (STs) and seven for Scheduled Castes (SCs) in the Union Territory. The recommendations however have not found favour with political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir. While Singh told the media that National Conference (NC) leaders were satisfied with the parameters followed by the Commission, the party itself did not appear to agree. Dubbing it a ‘misleading’ statement, the JKNC said that it would not be a party to it. Party spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said that the NC expressed “unreserved resentment” over the draft of the Delimitation Commission

“We have clearly expressed our resentment over the draft of the Delimitation Commission, the biased process of seat-sharing. The party will NOT be a signatory to this report,” read a tweet from the party’s official handle.

“We were shown a draft proposing 6 additional seats for Jammu, 1 for Kashmir valley. This (proposal) is totally unacceptable and is disproportionate as per the 2011 census. Delimitation Commission asked us to submit our objection by Dec 31,” added NC MP Hasnain Masoodi.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad meanwhile focused on the Commission’s proposal to reserve certain seats, contending that this should be equitably distributed between Jammu and Kashmir. “It’s fine that SC and ST communities are getting seats, but seats for STs should’ve been divided in both Jammu province and Kashmir province, as the ST population is almost equal,” he contended

Earlier on Monday, Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti had also criticised the Commission, contending that it had been “created simply to serve BJPs political interests” by dividing people “along religious and regional lines”.

“My apprehensions about the Delimitation Commission weren’t misplaced. They want to pitch people against each other by ignoring the population census and proposing six seats for one region and only one for Kashmir,” she tweeted.

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