Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday said the delimitation exercise in Jammu and Kashmir is meant to facilitate judicious representation to all the sections and regions in the legislative assembly. He said the case of Jammu and Kashmir is somewhat different from other states or Union Territories, in the sense that there has existed an anomaly in the number of seats which was not corrected over the years. And the ruling parties in the past, which were mostly non-BJP, were accused of deliberately trying to delay the delimitation exercise for their electoral benefits, he added. Therefore, the delimitation exercise is meant to facilitate judicious representation to all the sections and all the regions in the legislative assembly, Singh said.
When asked to respond to a demand in certain political quarters that the assembly election should be held before the delimitation exercise, he said it is for the Election Commission to decide on the date of the polls. However, as a political party, the BJP is a 24x7x365 party and we are always ready for any election at any level, whether it is a parliamentary election, assembly election or a local body election, said Singh, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
The minister hit out at the Congress and other opposition parties who he claimed were spreading rumours that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was trying to influence the Delimitation Commission to increase the number of seats in such a manner that it may give electoral advantage to it and said such allegations reflect their own mindset. Such allegations are a reflection of their own condition of mind and the mindset with which they ruled the country for over six decades, when they were found interfering with the functioning of constitutional bodies like the Election Commission and CBI, he said. Singh, the Lok Sabha member from Jammu and Kashmir's Udhampur constituency, said the Delimitation Commission is an independent body which follows certain norms and parameters in its working. It is, therefore, not only improper to make such an allegation but also a matter of impropriety to say so, he said.
Singh said, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the central government accords highest respect to the independence of these bodies and never seeks to intrude into their domain of working. The Delimitation Commission will be on a four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir from July 6-9 to interact with political parties, their leaders and government officials to gather first hand inputs on the ongoing process of redrawing the boundaries of electoral constituencies.