Delimitation commission to meet election officers and political leaders during Jammu and Kashmir visit next week
The PM, during the June 24 meeting with 14 leaders from Jammu and Kashmir, had said the ongoing delimitation exercise has to happen quickly so that polls can be held to install an elected government.
SRI NAGAR: The Delimitation Commission, which would be arriving on a four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir from July 6-9, would interact with District Election Officers (DEOs) of all 20 districts of and leaders of political parties.The Commission headed by Justice (retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai, which has been tasked with redrawing Parliamentary and Assembly constituencies in J&K, would meet DEOs in Pahalgam and Srinagar in Kashmir and Kishtwar and Jammu in Jammu.
The Commission would seek data on voters’ lists. Topography and other compositions of districts and Assembly constituencies would also be sought. Sources said J&K’s Chief Electoral Officer has invited political parties to interact with the Commission in Srinagar. Parties invited include National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, Apni Party, CPI-M, Peoples Conference, Congress, JKANC, JKNPP and BJP. It is likely that representatives of all parties would attend the meeting.The NC, which has boycotted Delimitation Commission proceedings and PDP, which has been very vocal on Article 370 revocation, are also expected to attend the meetings.
It would be the Commission’s first visit to J&K after it was formed in March last year to carve out more Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in J&K after the scrapping of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into two UTs. Its one-year-term was extended this March. The delimitation exercise is carried out as per 2011 Census, in which Kashmir’s population was 68,88,475 and Jammu’s 53,78,538.
At present, the Assembly has 83 seats — 47 in Kashmir and 36 in Jammu. Once the delimitation exercise is completed, Assembly seats in J&K will increase to 90. After the June 24 all party meeting in New Delhi, the Centre unveiled a roadmap of “Delimitation, election and statehood”.