The ultimate delimitation fee report on Jammu and Kashmir’s meeting and Lok Sabha seats is out, ending an essential hurdle to holding elections within the union territory.
The panel headed by former Supreme Court choose Justice Rangana Prakash held a number of conferences with high officers of the Election Commission of India and the J&Okay chief electoral officer earlier than placing the ultimate report within the public area.
Sources say aside from accepting ideas of events to stay to the unique names of constituencies and a little bit of tweaking to the boundaries, the panel has stood agency on its preliminary draft that awarded six of seven new meeting seats to Jammu.
For occasion, the Tangmarg meeting seat could be referred to as Gulmarg, Zoonimar as Zadibal, Sonwar as Lal Chowk, Kathua North as Jasrota, and Khour as Chhamb, and so on.
The panel has rejected the ideas, particularly from the Valley-based events that awarding six seats to Jammu and just one to Kashmir regardless of having extra inhabitants was not conforming to recognized parameters.
From the day the primary draft was made public, the Kashmir events had accused the fee of gerrymandering or, merely put, redrawing meeting segments that may profit one neighborhood on the expense of one other. The Gupkar Alliance, a discussion board of J&Okay’s sturdy regional events just like the National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party, had alleged that the panel was “converting a geographical majority into a political minority by culling voting constituencies to benefit the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party”.
“All that the panel has finished is to make sure that the BJP will get a bonus within the elections. How is it that they’ve ignored the fundamental parameter of inhabitants to award seats?” Hasnain Masoodi, former senior choose and MP of the National Conference, instructed News18 lately.
The Gupkar Alliance has been sustaining that the panel has consolidated Hindu votes on one hand and splintered the bulk Muslim votes on the opposite. In some areas, the group alleged, the panel has culled out new Hindu constituencies.
With regard to the Lok Sabha seats, the Valley events and a few social activists in Poonch and Rajouri had earlier criticised the fee for clubbing Poonch district and components of Rajouri areas with the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency to make it one entity. They had argued that regardless of enormous connectivity points between the 2 areas — every falls on both aspect of the mighty Pir Panjal mountains which stays snow-covered for 5 months — the panel went forward to weld two disparate areas.
The fee had reasoned that including Poonch and Rajouri to Anantnag was finished to streamline all of the 5 Lok Sabha seats on the premise of equitable inhabitants and district ratio. For instance, earlier Jammu comprising 10 districts had solely two seats whereas the Valley had three with the identical variety of districts.
“In our assembly with the panel we had raised this problem solely to be instructed that Lok Sabha seats in each Jammu and Kashmir will now have equal illustration and never be lopsided in favour of the Valley,” an NC member instructed News18.
The Gupkar Alliance had earlier questioned the delimitation train, asking why J&Okay was being singled out for carrying it out when the entire nation was anyhow redrawing the constituencies in 2026 as per Supreme Court instructions.
The group had additionally mentioned that because the matter of abrogation of J&Okay’s particular standing is in court docket and could be possible heard in July, the delimitation course of ought to have waited as each points are interconnected.
“The delimitation fee has turn out to be an extension of the BJP. We reject it as we don’t belief it. This is an try to disempower the folks of Jammu and Kashmir,” mentioned PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti. “What delimitation are you talking about? It has been done to benefit the BJP while flouting basic parameters like population.”
The National Conference reacted a bit extra cautiously. “We have seen the final recommendations of the Delimitation Commission. We are studying the implications of these recommendations for individual assembly constituencies. No amount of gerrymandering will change the ground reality which is that whenever elections are held the voter will punish the BJP & its proxies for what they have done to J&K over the last 4 years,” it tweeted.
While the Valley events, the Congress, and the Jammu-based Panthers Party have expressed unhappiness over the best way seats have been redrawn, the BJP will not be complaining. It in truth hit out on the detractors, saying they’re upset as a result of “they’re against the Jammu area getting its due after years of discrimination”.
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