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Opposition stages walkout on discrimination issue

india Updated: Feb 23, 2014 01:09 IST
Navneet Dubey
Navneet Dubey
Hindustan Times
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Demanding a House committee probe into the alleged ‘discrimination’ with Jammu region for long and setting up of delimitation commission, the opposition BJP, Panthers Party and Jammu State Morcha (JSM) today staged a walkout from the Jammu and Kashmir assembly.

As soon as proceedings for the day started in the house, members of BJP, Panthers Party and JSM stood up and voiced resentment against the formation of a House committee by speaker Mubarak Gul to look into the matter of opening of new sub- health centres (SHCs) in the state, which were recently sanctioned by the Centre.

BJP member Jugal Kishore said, “The constitution of the House committee is discrimination against Jammu region. It is a conspiracy against the people of Jammu. For the last 65 years we were being discriminated.”

The protesting members of the opposition parties also demanded setting up of a delimitation commission.
Speaking on the issue, the speaker said, “The constitution of delimitation commission is a constitutional matter. You need a two-third majority to pass such a resolution. It is banned till 2026”.
BJP member Ashok Khajuria demanded a House committee to probe the alleged discrimination against the people of Jammu region for the past 65 years.

Opposing the House committee on SHCs, Khajuria shouted, “We are against this committee. The government is provoking the people of Jammu”.

Panthers Party member Harsh Dev Singh, while demanding constitution of delimitation commission, said, “The delimitation of assembly segments was in the manifesto of the Congress party”.

Amid vociferous slogans for setting up of the delimitation commission and against the absence of a house committee on primary healt centres (PHCs), the member s of the BJP, Panthers Party and JSM staged a walkout from the assembly.

Later while talking to reporters outside the House, Harsh Dev Singh said, “PDP and NC members on Friday created a hue and cry over Jammu region getting a few more PHCs than Kashmir region. The speaker under pressure from PDP and NC members ordered a House committee”.

“Both PDP and NC are finding it hard to digest that Jammu gets more share. We want probe into the large-scale discrimination against Jammu region for the past 65 years”, he said.

He questioned, “Why the delimitation commission is not being implemented. Kashmir Province has 46 assembly seats whereas Jammu has only 37 seats, but the geographical area, the electorate and the population of Jammu region are much higher than those of the Kashmir province. It is a grave injustice”.
The Panthers Party member demanded that a House committee be set up to find out “how the people in Kashmir got maximum benefits in all the spheres, including employment in the government.”

Meanwhile, BJP member Jugal Kishore ,while alleging discrimination against Jammu region, also demanded delimitation commission as many constituencies in Jammu region have around two lakh population. “Two or three assembly constituencies can be carved out from a single constituency with such large population,” he added.

The delimitation commission is aimed at carving out new assembly segments in the state according to the population and geographical area, but in 2002 the process was suspended by a resolution in Parliament till 2026.