Omar Abdullah Lashes Out At JK Delimitation Commission’s Suggestions, Calls It A Political Approach


New Delhi: J&K political parties called the draft recommendations of the Delimitation Commission “unacceptable”, with former Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah saying it promotes the “political agenda of the BJP”.

On Monday, the five-member Delimitation Commission, formed to redraw the Assembly seats of the Union Territory, suggested six more seats for the Jammu area and one for the Kashmir Valley.

The Kashmir division currently has 46 seats and Jammu 37. The population of Jammu region is 53.72 lakh and Kashmir division 68.83 lakh, according to the Census of 2011, PTI reported. With the Delimitation Commission’s suggestion, the total number of seats in Jammu will rise to 43 and in Kashmir Valley to 47.

‘Contrary To Promised Scientific Approach, Its A Political Approach’: Omar Abdullah

Expressing his disappointment over the commission’s recommendations, Omar Abdullah, in a series of tweets, said, “The commission appears to have allowed the political agenda of the BJP to dictate its recommendations rather than the data which should have been its only consideration. Contrary to the promised ‘scientific approach’ it’s a political approach.”

“The draft recommendation of the J&K delimitation commission is unacceptable. The distribution of newly created assembly constituencies with 6 going to Jammu & only 1 to Kashmir is not justified by the data of the 2011 census,” Abdullah further said.

The National Conference made it clear that it “will not be a signatory to this report”.

Suggestions By Commission ‘Reek Of Bias’: Sajad Lone

Sajad Gani Lone, leader of the People’s Conference (PC), said the suggestions “reeked of bias”. “The recommendations of the delimitation commission are totally unacceptable. They reek of bias. What a shock for those who believe in democracy,” Lone tweeted.

Recommendation Carried Out To Further BJP’s Agenda: PDP

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said the commission was “created simply to serve BJP’s political interests by dividing people along religious and regional lines”. “The real game plan is to install a government in JK which will legitimise the illegal and unconstitutional decisions of August 2019,” Mufti tweeted.

Suhail Bukhari, the spokesperson for the PDP, said the commission’s recommendations confirmed his party’s apprehension that the exercise was carried out to further the BJP agenda.

Mehbooba Mufti has stated from the beginning that this Commission was established to carry out the BJP’s political goal, Bukhari said. “There is no way to justify it,” Bukhari remarked.

The PDP and the people of Jammu and Kashmir, he warned, would reject these suggestions and fight them tooth and nail.

Delimitation Commission’s Recommendations

With the Delimitation Commission’s suggestion, the total number of seats in Jammu will rise to 43 and in Kashmir Valley to 47.

Nine seats have been recommended for Scheduled Tribes and seven seats have been proposed for Scheduled Castes.

On Monday, the commission’s associate members — two BJP MPs, Jugal Kishore and Dr Jitendra Singh, and three National Conference MPs, Farooq Abdullah, Justice (Retd) Hasnain Masoodi, and Mohammad Akbar Lone — held a meeting. They have been given till the end of the month to reply to the suggestions.

The panel is chaired by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Desai and includes an ex-officio member, Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra, as well as the chief electoral officer of Jammu & Kashmir.

In a statement after the meeting, the Delimitation Commission said it proposed carving out an additional constituency for some districts to balance the representation for geographical areas having inadequate communication and lack of public conveniences due to their remoteness or location along the border.

(With PTI inputs)

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