EC’s delimitation commission to visit J-K, interact with political parties today

The Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir will reach the Union Territory on Tuesday for a two-day visit to meet political parties, district officials and other stakeholders and gather ground-level information related to redrawing of constituencies there.

Both Congress and BJP, along with Jammu and Kashmir’s Panthers Party welcomed the move of the Election Commission and said they will meet the delegation and demand fair representation of all communities.

BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir unit president Ravinder Raina said his party’s delegation will demand a “lawful and logical delimitation” from the commission.

“In 1985, the delimitation of Assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir is still questioned till this day. BJP will demand a delimitation where nobody is discriminated against and everyone is given equal representation,” he said.

Elaborating further, BJP leader Kavinder Gupta said his party wants delimitation to be done on two parts — hill area and plains.

“Voters should also be a factor in making constituencies. We hope that constituencies that will come up now will give justice to Jammu and Kashmir,” said Gupta.

Congress on the other hand demanded the delimitation commission to spend more time on the grassroots level to understand ground realities and sentiments.

Ravinder Sharma of Congress while talking to ANI said, “in the all-party meeting, Congress had suggested that the delimitation commission should visit the region to get different shades of political opinion. Congress has decided that we will meet the delegation of commission in both Jammu and Kashmir. We will demand the delegation to share the data that they have. We will also ask them to visit the grassroots level.”

He further said that the two-day visit is not enough and demanded the commission to use its resources to meet people on the district and constituency levels.

“Meeting representatives of seven districts in an hour is not justified. The commission has been working on delimitation for over a year and conducting everything in two days won’t to justified. We want them to visit on district and constituency levels and listen to political representatives carefully. They have the resources to do that. We would want the voice of the people on the ground to reach the commission,” he added.

Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh also welcomed the delimitation commission’s move to visit the Union Territory and said the commission should divide equal seats between Jammu and Kashmir.

“To end the tension, equal seats should be given to both Jammu and Kashmir. There is an internal tension in Jammu and Kashmir which leads to the rise of communal-minded people,” said Singh.

However, the Panthers Party chief added at as the census of 2021-2022 is going to start soon, the commission should do a provisional delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir before the Assembly polls.

The Delimitation Commission, tasked with redrawing parliamentary and assemblies constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, is scheduled to visit the Union Territory from July 6 to July 9 and interact with administrative officials, political parties and public representatives there.

The decision to visit Jammu and Kashmir was taken after the panel held a meeting at the Election Commission office in the national capital on June 30.

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi had held a meeting with political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir on June 24 and said it was an important step in the ongoing efforts towards a developed and progressive region.

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