Thursday, Aug 11, 2022

Jammu And Kashmir's Political Map Redrawn As Delimitation Panel's Orders Comes Into Effect

The delimitation panel gave six more seats to Jammu region and one more seat to Kashmir region, taking the total seats to 90.

A photograph of a market in Kashmir. Representative image.
A photograph of a market in Kashmir. Representative image. Twitter

The two orders of the Delimitation Commission that redrew the political map of Jammu and Kashmir will "take effect" from May 20, the Law Ministry said.

The two orders are — the March 14 order dealing with the number of constituencies reserved for various categories and May 5 order dealing with the size of each constituency.

The panel had given six additional assembly seats to Jammu region, taking the number to 43 from 37, whereas the Kashmir region got one additional seat, taking the number from 46 to 47. The areas of Rajouri and Poonch were also brought under the Anantnag parliamentary seat.

Besides these 90 seats — up from 83, 24 seats will also be reserved for the region Pakistan-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. These seats will remain vacant.

In a historical first, nine seats are set for scheduled tribes.  

In a notification on Friday, the Law Ministry said, "In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-sections (2) and (3) of section 62 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 (34 of 2019), the Central Government hereby appoints the 20th day of May, 2022, as the date on which the orders of the Delimitation Commission, Order No. 1, dated the 14th March, 2022 and Order No. 2, dated the 5th May, 2022, shall take effect." 

National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party, two of J&K's leading political parties, had earlier expressed displeasure at the panel's draft report, whereas the Bharatiya Janata Party had appreciated it.

Former Chief Minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti was quoted as saying by NDTV, "The delimitation exercise is done for furtherance of BJP agenda. The commission has shown no regard to law and Constitution. Particularly, the majority community, be it in Rajouri, Kashmir, or Chinab valley have been disempowered. In a sense they have been disenfranchised." 

The NC spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar was earlier quoted as saying by Hindustan Times, “The NC summarily rejects draft working paper made available by Delimitation Commission to associate members on February 4. A detailed response will follow after the party has had time to discuss the implications of what has been proposed.”

The BJP's J&K unit chief Ravinder Raina earlier told PTI, "The Delimitation Commission has done a commendable job. They have gone through the length and breadth and met different political parties besides leaders of various social and religious organisations and panchayati raj institution members, including district and block development council members, before coming out with a draft proposal."

(With PTI inputs)