J&K Delimitation Panel Begins Two-Day Interaction With Public

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Jammu- The Delimitation Commission, which has been tasked to redraw the boundaries of assembly and parliamentary constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, on Monday began its two-day long meetings with public and civil society for receiving suggestions and objections on its draft delimitation proposal for the union territory.

The Commission on March 14 has put its report in the public domain and invited objections and suggestions from people. The commission has published its report in the gazettes of India as well as Jammu and Kashmir.

The commission has begun meetings at the Convention Centre here with members of the public, civil society and political parties from all districts of the Jammu region, while a similar public sitting will be held at SKICC in Srinagar on Tuesday, officials said.

It has met 20 such delegations and members of the public from Ramban, Rajouri, Poonch, Kishtwar, Kathua and Doda districts and heard them and received their representations, the officials said.

The members of the public and elected representatives raised various demands in terms of carving out new segments of assemblies and also raised objections about the draft in which various areas have been merged with other areas of assembly and parliamentary constituencies.

The people from Kathua, Udhampur, Doda, Ramban, Kishtwar, Rajouri and Poonch districts are currently participating in the public sittings from 10.00 am while the people from Reasi, Samba and Jammu will participate in the second half-sittings at the Convention Centre from 2.00 pm, they said.

The official said that the people from Srinagar, Budgam, Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian will be part of the public sittings at SKICC in the first half on April 5 while the people from Ganderbal, Bandipora, Kupwara and Baramulla will participate in the sittings in the second half on the same day at the same venue in Srinagar.

Delimitation Commission, comprising Justice (retired) Ranjana Prakash Desai as chairperson, the Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and State Election Commissioner (SEC) K K Sharma as its members, was set up on March 6, 2020, with one year term. However, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, its term was extended on March 6, 2021, by one year.

It also has five associate members: three National Conference Lok Sabha members (Farooq Abdullah, Hasnain Masoodi and Mohammad Akbar Lone), BJP MP Jugal Kishore and Union Minister Jitendra Singh.

According to the draft proposal, there has been no increase in the number of Lok Sabha seats in J&K.

Similarly, there is no reservation for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) in the parliamentary seats of the union territory, it said.

The Jammu division will have Jammu-Reasi and Udhampur-Doda constituencies while the Kashmir division will have Srinagar-Budgam and Baramulla-Kupwara. The Anantnag-Poonch seat will be part of both the divisions, the draft said.

The report said the total number of seats in the assembly has been increased to 90 with reservation of seven seats for SCs and nine for STs.

The three-member commission has proposed six more seats in the Jammu region and only one additional seat in Kashmir in the proposed 90-member house.

Kashmir will have 47 assembly seats and the Jammu region 43 seats, the report said.