NC snubs delimitation exercise, announces to stays away
BJP says will proceed with the exercise
Srinagar: The National Conference on Friday rejected the process of setting up of a Delimitation Commission by the Centre for redrawing parliamentary and assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, saying its MPs will not participate in the exercise as the party is unwilling to accept the events of last year’s August 5.
It said the delimitation commission is a product of the J&K Reorganization Act 2019, which the party is challenging in and outside the Supreme Court.
“With reference to the recently announced Delimitation Commission by the government of India, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference today rejects this process and its three members of Parliament will not participate in the said commission,” the NC said in a statement issued here.
“Participating in this Delimitation Commission will be tantamount to accepting the events of 5th August 2019 which the NC is unwilling to do,” the party said, referring to the nullification of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into union territories by the Centre.
According to the Constitution of J and K, the NC said, the constituencies of the erstwhile state were to be delimited in 2026 with the rest of the country.
“The constituencies in the state were last delimited in 1990s. Thereafter an amendment was made in the Constitution of J&K unanimously passed in the state Assembly in which all the regional parties, Congress and BJP, voted for this amendment to go with the delimitation with the rest of the country in 2026. Therefore, the constitution of the delimitation commission is unwarranted,” the party said in the statement.
All five Lok Sabha MPs from Jammu and Kashmir three from the NC and two from BJP have been nominated as “associate members” of the Delimitation Commission to assist the panel in redrawing parliamentary and assembly constituencies in the newly-created union territory.
On May 26, the Lok Sabha Speaker nominated the members on the panel from the two parties.
Abdullah, who represents Srinagar in the Lok Sabha, was released from over seven months of detention in March. His colleagues, Anantnag MP Hasnain Masoodi and Baramulla MP Akbar Lone, are the other two NC leaders on the panel.
Union minister and Udhampur MP Jitendra Singh and Jammu-Poonch MP Jugal Kishore Sharma are the two BJP leaders on the panel. (PTI)
Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slammed NC for boycotting the delimitation exercise in Jammu and Kashmir.
“They have always sabotaged democratic processes,” BJP’s General Secretary (Organization), Ashok Koul said.
He said NC’s decision against participation in delimitation won’t have any impact on the exercise “The delimitation has to be carried out by three-member panel. The role of MPs is supportive in the exercise,” he said.
Meanwhile, former minister Ghulam Hassan Mir said delimitation is an important step for democratic process.
“It is an important step. NC has always indulged in “Bhangra Baazi.” Tomorrow, they will claim that report of the Commission is not fair.
“There is perception among Kashmiris that seats of Kashmir would be decreased and seats of Jammu will be increased. Are not they skipping their responsibility? They should have defended and argued properly before the Commission that there is no disparity in allocation of seats,” he said.
He said they are defeating mandate of the people by boycotting the exercise.
“It is unfortunate and undemocratic,” he said, adding that Apni Party requests government to make the commission inclusive by giving representation to regional parties.
“Kashmiris are closely watching the exercise as there is apprehension among them that it is being done to increase seats of Jammu division and decrease the number of seats in Kashmir,” he said. (with inputs from KNO)