Srinagar: The Delimitation Commission headed by Justice (Retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai will visit Jammu and Kashmir from July 6 to July 9 for firsthand information and input concerning the redrawing boundaries of assembly constituencies in the JK.
The decision in this regard was taken by the Delimitation Commission under the Chairpersonship of the former Supreme Court Judge Ranjana Prakash Desai in the presence of Sushil Chandra, Chief Election Commissioner.
“The Delimitation Commission has decided to visit the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir from 6th July, 2021 (Tuesday) to 9th July, 2021 (Friday),” reads the statement issued after the meeting, first after the All-Party Meet chaired by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.
“During this period, the Commission will interact with political parties, public representatives and Union Territory administration officials including District Election Officers/ Deputy Commissioners of 20 districts of the Union Territory to gather first hand information and input concerning the ongoing process of delimitation as mandated under the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019,” reads the statement.
The Delimitation Commission was constituted in March 2020 and its term was extended by another year in March 2021 in view of the ongoing pandemic. The third Member of the Commission is the State Election Commissioner of Jammu & Kashmir.
The Commission also has five Associate Members nominated by the Speaker, Lok Sabha. The Commission already had series of meetings related to data and map of the Districts and Constituencies related to census 2011.
However, the Commission’s meeting in February was attended by just two members — Dr Jitendra Singh and Jugal Kishore Sharma of the BJP. National Conference MPs—Farooq Abdullah, Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi had refused to participate, stating that the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act of 2019 was “palpably unconstitutional” and no decisions should be taken until the Supreme Court decides on its constitutional validity.
“A number of representations have also been received on various aspects concerning delimitation from civil societies and members of public from the Union Territory,” the statement said, adding, “The Commission has already taken note of all such suggestions and directed that these may be deliberated further in the context of ground realities concerning delimitation.”
The Commission expects that all stakeholders will cooperate in this endeavour and will provide valuable suggestions so that the task of delimitation is completed timely, the statement added.
During the all-party meeting on June 24, Narendra Modi had sought the participation of leaders from JK in the delimitation exercise. India’s Home Minister Amit Shah, who along with NSA Ajit Doval was present in the meeting, later made delimitation and elections as “important milestones” for the restoration of the statehood to J&K. While National Conference with three associate members in the commission previous stayed away from the exercise, the party’s vice president and former Chief Minister hinted that NC may participate in exercise provided GOI accepts proposal mooted by Congress senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad at APM, calling for delimitation to be followed by the return of full statehood before elections in the JK.