BJP conspiring to allot larger share of Assembly seats to Kashmir: Harsh Dev

Updated on May 30, 2020 09:54 PM IST

He said that Jammu has been entitled to at least 50 seats as per the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019

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Hindustan Times/Jammu | By, Jammu

Former education minister and chairman of the Panthers Party Harsh Dev Singh on Saturday alleged that the BJP was conspiring to allot a larger share of Assembly seats to Kashmir at the expense of Jammu, which has been entitled to at least 50 seats as per the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019.

“While delimitation of Assembly constituencies in J&K ought to have been the priority concern of the BJP government in view its repeated assurances over the subject, the process has been inordinately delayed creating several apprehensions in the political and social circles,” he said while addressing media persons here.

“It was on August 5, 2019, that the Parliament passed the J&K Reorganisation Act providing for 90 Assembly seats for the new UT to be bifurcated in accordance with the new criteria laid down in see 60 of the said Act. The Centre as well as the state BJP leadership during that period indulged in a lot of jangle and rattle with tall claims of addressing all bias against the Jammu region and ending the political hegemony of Kashmir by increasing the Assembly seats of Jammu region. It was however regrettable that the very same leadership had failed to ensure even the commencement delimitation exercise despite lapse of ten months,” said Singh.

He said that not only were the controversies being created over the composition of the Delimitation Commission but BJP had started giving feelers of a possible lower share for the Jammu region in the event of Delimitation being held as per census 2011. The BJP in its bid to further appease Kashmir seemed to be planning to give it a higher number of Assembly seats by cleverly conveying to the people that the population of Kashmir region as per the 2011 census was higher than that of Jammu region.

And all this gimmickry is being resorted to notwithstanding the fact that the J&K Reorganisation Act of 2019 does not give any weightage to the population in the process of delimiting of Assembly seats.

“The population factor which was the major consideration in the erstwhile law on delimitation has been dropped in the Reorganisation Act 2019. And the population factor will matter only in the constituencies to be reserved for SC and ST so as to ensure that only those seats are reserved where the proportion of their population to the total population in largest. With the new criteria weighing heavily in favour of the Jammu region, it was entitled to at least 50 seats in Assembly and a minimum of three seats in the Parliament as well.

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