The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday said it will not meet the Jammu and Kashmir Delimitation Commission, stating that the “outcome of the meeting which is widely believed to be pre-planned and may further hurt the interests of our people.”
In a letter to the Delimitation Commission chairperson Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, PDP General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura said that instead of starting confidence-building measures in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35 (A) on August 5, 2019, the Centre has “continued with its daily dictates to the people of J-K including the recent amendments and orders including those making every person a suspect (Government employees antecedents verification order) and deepening the divide between two regions of J-K (the order related to Darbar move).”
“Our party has decided to stay away from this process and not be part of some exercise, the outcome which is widely believed to be pre-planned and which may further hurt the interests of our people,” he said.
Cornering the Centre, he said that despite the “utter humiliation” of the people of Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35 (A), which undermined their “constitutional and democratic rights, vilification and incarceration of political leadership and ordinary citizens,” the party participated in the all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 24.
“In the meeting, we emphasised the need to reach out to the people of J-K and suggested specific confidence-building measures that could lead to breaking the ice in the process of addressing the massive trust deficit between New Delhi and J-K,” he said adding that PDP was disappointed to see that after the all-party meeting “nothing has moved and no effort has been made to bring ease into the lives of people, giving credence to those, who had in the first instance, called the meeting a mere photo opportunity.”
Lamenting further, the PDP leader alleged that on August 5, 2019, the “constitutional and democratic values of our country were”trampled upon with the people of Jammu and Kashmir being robbed of their legitimate constitutional and democratic rights by means of abrogation of Article 370 and 35 (A) of the Indian constitution, illegally and unconstitutionally.”
“The day also saw the people of J-K being humiliated and demeaned by the downgrading and bifurcation of an almost 200-year-old state, an act, with no precedence in Independent India,” he added.
Noting that the Reorganisation Act is a “product of the same process,”, Hanjuraare said that PDP is of the considered opinion that the “Delimitation Commission lacks constitutional and legal mandate in the first place and its very existence and objectives have left every ordinary resident of J-K with many questions. There are apprehensions that the delimitation exercise is part of the overall process of political disempowerment of the people of J-K that the Government of India has embarked on.”
He said that these apprehensions are the process through which the commission has been constituted and the fact that while the delimitation process across the country has been put on hold till 2026, J-K has been made an exception.
“There are apprehensions that the process is aimed at realising the political vision of a particular political party in J-K wherein, like other things, the views and wishes of the people of J-K would be considered the least. It is a widespread belief that contours and outcome of the exercise are pre-planned. The very intent is under question,’ he added.
Meanwhile, the Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir arrived in 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.