New Delhi, 20 December: The Delimitation Commission has proposed six seats for the Jammu region and one additional seat for the Kashmir region in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Also, there is an idea to reserve 16 seats in the state for Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST). Protests have also started on these suggestions and the National Conference says that the commission is taking forward the agenda of the BJP.
According to the Election Commission, on Monday, the Delimitation Commission headed by Justice (Retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai met all the five associate members in the presence of the Chief Election Commissioner and the State Election Commissioner.
The meeting took place at Ashoka Hotel in Delhi. As associate members, MPs Farooq Abdullah, Jitendra Singh, Mohammad Akbar Lone, Hasnain Masoodi, Jugal Kishore Sharma attended the second meeting organized by the commission. The first meeting was held on 18 February this year.
According to sources, the commission has shared the information related to the increase in seats on the basis of the new delimitation in the meeting.
Accordingly, it is proposed to increase six seats for Jammu region and one additional seat for Kashmir region. At present there are 46 seats in Kashmir region and 37 in Jammu region. In the new proposal, it has been recommended to make them 47 and 43 respectively.
According to the Election Commission, the paper giving details of the proposed seat allocation at the district level has been shared with all the members with a request to submit their views, comments or suggestions by December 31 in the meeting.
Also, for the first time in Jammu and Kashmir, on the basis of population, 9 (nine) seats out of 90 seats are proposed to be allotted to Scheduled Tribes. Seven seats are proposed for Scheduled Castes.
The National Conference leader and MP Farooq Abdullah, who attended the meeting, said that he attended the meeting for the first time today so that the voice of Jammu and Kashmir should be heard. He will share his views regarding this by meeting with senior leaders of his party.
He said that the Commission has not given any information about the seat being reserved in the meeting.
Farooq’s son and party leader of National Conference Omar Abdullah tweeted that this is very disappointing. The Commission seems to have incorporated the political agenda of the BJP in its recommendations rather than the figures. This is a political approach, in contrast to the promised “scientific approach”.
He further said that the draft recommendation of the Jammu and Kashmir Delimitation Commission is unacceptable. The distribution of newly created assembly constituencies is not proper as per the 2011 census data. Of these, 6 are going to Jammu and only 1 to Kashmir.
Union Minister and MP from the state, Jitendra Singh said that the commission has come up with a document which has been prepared in a fair manner. All the concerned members, irrespective of the parties, appreciated the work done by the Delimitation Commission. The members of the National Conference were also satisfied with the parameters adopted by the Commission.
National Conference leader Hasnain Masoodi says that we were shown a draft proposing 6 additional seats for Jammu and 1 for Kashmir Valley. This proposal is completely unacceptable and disproportionate as per the 2011 census.
In the meeting, the Chief Election Commissioner emphasized that the delimitation would be taken in a statutory manner and keeping in mind the interest of the people of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
He said that geographical boundaries and features should be taken care of as far as possible for each constituency. These should also include the existing boundaries of administrative units, communication facilities and public facilities.
The Commission explained that taking into account all the subjects, the Delimitation Commission has classified all the 20 districts into three broad categories A, B and C, in which the constituency allocation for the districts accounts for about 10 per cent of the average population per assembly constituency. Margin is given.
The commission has proposed to create an additional constituency for some districts. Its purpose is to give representation to geographical areas lacking public facilities due to inhospitable conditions along the international border.
According to the commission, Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar gave a detailed presentation on the work done in the meeting.
He said that since the last delimitation in the Union Territory, the number of districts has increased from 12 to 20 and the number of tehsils from 52 to 207. The population density in the districts of the Union Territory has gone up from 29 persons per sq km in Kishtwar to 3436 persons per sq km in Srinagar.