SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has demanded fresh delimitation of Assembly constituencies before holding the elections in the state.
Advocating the move, senior state BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta said, “The delimitation of Assembly constituencies should take place as per the area and population. It should take place in all three regions of the state — Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh.”
The state Assembly has 87 seats — 46 in Kashmir, 37 in Jammu and 4 in Ladakh while 24 seats have been reserved for Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).
State BJP spokesperson Arun Gupta said the delimitation should take place before the elections. “We feel that this should take place immediately. Wherever wrongs have taken place have to be corrected,” he said.
On the freeze on delimitation till 2026, Gupta said, “The law in this regard can be amended by the State Assembly. Since the Assembly is dissolved, the Governor can amend the law to pave way for delimitation.”
Asked whether the party would prefer the elections being delayed till fresh delimitation, he said, “We favour early delimitation of constituencies. However, the call on elections has to be taken by the Election Commission of India and we will abide by its decision.”
The then National Conference government in 2002 had put a freeze on delimitation till 2026 by amending the Representation of the People Act, 1957, and Section 47(3) of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.
The BJP is pressing for delimitation as it hopes that the Jammu region, which is larger in area than Kashmir, will get more seats than the Valley after the exercise, helping it realise the dream of forming a government in Jammu and Kashmir on its own.