Requisite info, maps to be submitted to delimitation panel in July: J&K CEO
BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav had said the legislative assembly will be formed in J&K after completion of the delimitation process.Updated: Jul 13, 2020 22:42 IST
Amid strong reservations of Kashmir-based political parties, especially the National Conference, Jammu and Kashmir chief electoral officer (CEO) Hirdesh Kumar Singh on Monday said the information sought by the delimitation commission is being compiled by all the 20 district commissioners and will be sent to the apex authority this month.
BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav had said the legislative assembly will be formed in J&K after completion of the delimitation process. Also, J&K lieutenant governor GC Murmu had recently told HT that the assembly polls in the UT can be held after or before delimitation of parliamentary and assembly constituencies.
The CEO said, “The commission has not visited J&K as yet but has sought substantial information from us in various formats like maps, statistics, 2011 Census figures, new tehsils, patwars and halqas. The information is being compiled district wise by all the 20 district commissioners and will be sent to the panel this month itself.”
“After we send all the requisite information followed by a preliminary exercise, the commission will visit J&K to interact with political parties. It is not clear if the panel will meet people from both the regions. However, whatever is required by the commission will be done,” he said.
The Union law ministry has constituted the Delimitation Commission headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai to redraw Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Election commissioner Sushil Chandra and election commissioner of J&K and the four states are ex-officio members of the commission.
All five Lok Sabha MPs from Jammu and Kashmir including Dr Farooq Abdullah, Hasnain Masoodi and Muhammad Akbar Lone from the National Conference and Dr Jitendra Singh and Jugal Kishore from the BJP have been nominated as “associate members” to assist the panel in redrawing parliamentary and assembly constituencies.
However, in May, the National Conference had said that its MPs will not participate in the exercise as the party was unwilling to accept the events of August 5 last year.
“The delimitation commission is a product of the J&K Reorganization Act 2019, which the party is challenging in and outside the Supreme Court,” the NC had said.
Meanwhile, J&K Congress has announced a 10-member committee to deal with the issue. Former minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed was named as chairman of the committee and the members included former deputy chief minister Tara Chand, former MP Madan Lal Sharma, former ministers Taj Mohiuddin, RS Chib and MS Niaz, and former legislators Ravinder Sharma and AS Micky.
According to Section 60 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, the number of seats in the legislative assembly of Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be increased from 107 to 114. Out of these, 24 seats are in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The constituencies in the erstwhile state were last delimited in 1995 and the state assembly had then unanimously agreed upon putting a freeze on any such exercise till 2026.
As per Census 2011, J&K has a population of 12,541,302.
The erstwhile state of J&K that comprised Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh regions had six Lok Sabha seats—one in Ladakh, two in Jammu and three in Kashmir.