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National Conference says it will not participate in delimitation process

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‘Participation will be tantamount to accepting the events of events of Aug 5, 2019’

Srinagar: Three days after its Member Parliaments were nominated as associate members of the Delimitation Commission, the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference has said it will not participate in the exercise, as doing so would be “tantamount to accepting the events of 5 August 2019”.

On August 5, 2019, the Government of India scrapped Artlice 370 which gave Jammu and Kashmir’s as special status, and bifurcated the state into two union territories.

Earlier this week, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had nominated the three Kashmir MPs from the National Conference, including its chief Farooq Abdullah, and the two Bharatiya Janata Party MPs from Jammu as associate members to assist the commission.

Rejecting Birla’s nomination, JK National Conference in its Friday statement said, “with reference to the recently announced Delimitation Commission by the government of India, Jammu & Kashmir National Conference today rejects this process and its three members of Parliament will not participate in the said commission.”

The Modi government had constituted the Delimitation Commission on 6 March, to be headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai.

It was tasked to redraw Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir and the north-eastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland.

Section 60 of the J&K Reorganisation Act states the number of seats in the legislative assembly of J&K will be increased from 107 to 114. Out of these, 24 seats are reserved for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The erstwhile state of J&K had 87 seats in the assembly and six in the Lok Sabha, which got reduced to 83 and five, respectively, after it was bifurcated to make Ladakh a separate UT.

“This delimitation commission is a product of the J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019, which JKNC is challenging in and outside Hon’ble Supreme Court. Participating in this delimitation Commission will be tantamount to accepting the events of 5 August 2019, which the NC is unwilling to do,” the NC statement read.

 

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