Civil society groups welcome Delimitation Commission report
Srinagar: Various Civil Society Groups and grass root level organizations on Friday welcomed the redrawing of the electoral map of Jammu and Kashmir by a three-member Delimitation Commission. The panel has earmarked 47 assembly seats for Kashmir division and 43 for Jammu in its final order.
Chairman JK Panchayat Council Iqbal Wani termed the final report of the Delimitation Commission as all inclusive political empowerment of all segments of the population.
He termed the report as judicious saying that it has opened equal opportunities for all in the political and decision making process in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The report has dismantled the false narrative created by the vested interested elements who were only interested to secure their political fortunes by misguiding the people in Jammu and Kashmir,” Wani said.
“The redrawing of electoral constituencies will equitably empower all the residents of the UT and will help in strengthening the institution of democracy,” Wani added.
Notably, the Commission has reserved nine Assembly Constituencies for Scheduled Tribes for the first time apart from seven constituencies for the Scheduled Caste population.
“This is a landmark and path breaking initiative to empower the marginalized segments of the population in the UT,” Malik Ishfaq, Secretary JK Welcare Civil Society, said.
He praised the commission for taking cognizance of the popular demand of the people who were ignored for more than seven decades as their political demands were not addressed by the ‘political elites’.
“Even the demand of changing the nomenclature of few Assembly Constituencies was not accepted by the political class during the past several decades and the commission has now fulfilled this long pending demand as well,” he added.
He also welcomed the report of the Commission on parliamentary constituencies, carving out one Lok Sabha constituency by combining the Annantnag and the Poonch-Rajouri areas of the Jammu region.
“This move will ensure that each of the constituencies will have an equal number of 18 assembly constituencies,” Malik Ishfaq concluded.
Irhad Ahmad Khan, Chairman ‘Give Happiness Civil Society’ group also welcomed the report terming it a new beginning for Jammu and Kashmir.
“People across JK had missed out on the real development as the factual issues were never addressed. The genuine aspirations of the people were ignored to the hilt and as a result democracy failed to take roots here,” he said.
Wasim Gull, Chairman JK Youth Forum also welcomed the final report saying that it will open new vistas for the people of the UT.
“Now grass root level institutions will witness more growth and participation of the people in the decision making process will increase manifold,” Gull added.
Interestingly, the delimitation commission assigned the task to redraw boundaries of assembly and parliament constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir started interaction with various delegations including political leaders and panchayati members from across Jammu region on its interim report which was made public last month.
Notably, BJP’s JK Chief Ravidner Raina on Thursday had termed the report as ‘amazing’. He not only congratulated the panel for completing the process on time but said that the report is an all inclusive political empowerment of all the segments of the population in Jammu and Kashmir.
Remarkably, before the restructuring, which takes the total number of assembly seats in the union territory to 90, Jammu had 37 assembly constituencies and Kashmir 46.
The Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir was set up in March 2020 and entrusted with the work of delimiting assembly and parliamentary constituencies in the union territory on the basis of the 2011 Census.
The panel also recommended to the government to consider giving displaced persons from Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir some representation in the assembly through nomination.
Besides, for the first time, nine seats have been proposed for Scheduled Tribes — six in Jammu and three in the Valley — following consultations with representatives of political parties, citizens, civil society groups.