Mehbooba Mufti’s PDP will skip the meeting with the delimitation commission in Jammu & Kashmir, which begins its four-day visit from Tuesday.
The commission, which comprises Justice (Retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra, and Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhushan, will meet political leaders of national and regional registered political parties. The purpose of this interaction will be to gather “first-hand" information about the conduct of the mega exercise to carve out new constituencies in J&K.
Mehbooba’s stand comes a day after the Gupkar Alliance expressed “disappointment” with the meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi, saying the Centre had failed to act on Confidence Building Measures such as release of political prisoners and “taking concrete steps to end the siege & atmosphere of suppression that has choked J&K since 2019”.
In a statement, spokesperson MY Tarigami said the BJP made the commitment on the floor of Parliament regarding statehood for J&K and they must honour it. “Any assembly election must be held only after restoration of full statehood for J&K. To this end, the PAGD has decided to reach out to other political parties in J&K with a view to take a common position on the issue,” he said.
PM Modi at the crucial meeting with Jammu and Kashmir regional parties said he wanted to remove “dil and dilli ki doori" from the region at the earliest, according to sources. In an open discussion that revolved around building a better future for Kashmir, sources said that the PM patiently heard out suggestions and inputs from all participants.
Modi said holding assembly elections as successfully as the DDC elections were conducted was a priority. It was discussed in the meeting that elections could happen soon after delimitation, the sources said, adding that most participants were willing towards the idea.
The deadline for the delimitation of parliamentary and assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir is “not to be missed” this time when the members of the Commission begin their four-day visit to the union territory, sources told News18. The process of delimitation is expected to be completed by March next year.
There will be four basic tenets for the delimiting constituencies - physical features, existing boundaries of administrative units, facilities of communication and public convenience, top sources said.
According to the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, the number of the assembly seats in the UT shall be increased from 107 to 114. However, practically there will be 90 seats in the UT as 24 seats fall under Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The census held in 2011 will be the base for the delimitation. The commission had got one year extension till March 5, 2022.