Congress Delegation Meets Delimitation Commission, Submits Detailed Memorandum

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) on Tuesday met Delimitation Commission and submitted a detailed memorandum.

JKPCC President Ghulam Ahmad Mir led a six-member party delegation and had discussions with the Commission on a wide range of issues.

According to the statement, former JKPCC President Peerzada Mohd Sayeed, Senior Party Leader Bashir Ahmad Magrey, JKPCC General Secretary Surinder Singh Channi, Senior Leader Vinod Koul were part of the delegation. Former Minister Taj Mohi U Din could not join the Party delegation due to some health issues.

The memorandum submitted to Delimitation Commission reads that in the All-Party Meeting dated June 24, 2021; Prime Minister and Home Minister had assured of adopting a transparent method by the Delimitation Commission right from the State level to the Constituency level. We accept this assurance in the spirit of restoration and strengthening of democratic structures in Jammu & Kashmir.

The memo random also reads that restoration of Statehood for Jammu and Kashmir is a sine qua non for conducting the Delimitation process. Until the full Statehood for Jammu & Kashmir as part of Union of India is restored, there would be no meaning for the Delimitation Commission to undertake any exercise. Unfortunately, the meeting called by the Prime Minister gave no concrete assurance in this regard. This is an essential confidence-building measure imperative for the restoration of the democratic process in Jammu & Kashmir. May, we at INC point out that until the restoration of Statehood for J&K, as demanded in the CWC Resolution of 6th August 2019, is completed; the delimitation process commencement will be rendered nugatory, the memorandum reads.

Congress party also told the Commission in the Memo that the initiation of political & democratic dialogue in Jammu & Kashmir must begin with the restoration of civil liberties of political parties and people. The unlawful detention of political leaders and their incarceration for long period without any charges is itself anathema to the founding principles of democracy under our Constitution. The Government must initiate an exercise for undoing the shackles on the democratic exercise of rights and end the incarceration of political leadership as a step towards strengthening of grassroots democracy in Jammu & Kashmir. Only then will the delimitation exercise shall have some meaning.

The aspiration of the people of Ladakh to determine their democratic foundations within the four corners of the Indian constitution must be severely respected, Party told the commission

INC exhorts that the draft proposal prepared by the Commission be distributed/circulated among all the political parties for giving suggestions and submitting objections, if any, before the Commission, the Memorandum, besides stating that INC is duty bound to represent the viewpoints, apprehensions and doubts of the masses in general about certain factors and preconceived notions that may be detrimental to the democratic rights, the Commissioned was told in the Memo.

People of Jammu and Kashmir have grave apprehensions of preconceived political prejudice governing the Commission’s final recommendations with a view to give unfair and undue advantage to a particular political party and to the exclusion of democratic rights of the people for a just and amicable delimitation process and particularly to put the mainstream political parties in a disadvantageous position on account of innate unfairness.

The Memorandum further reads that It is, as such, incumbent upon the Delimitation Commission, which is a Constitutional body, to stand by the test of equity, equality, fairness and transparency as per the mandate given to it by the Parliament of India and to conduct the delimitation exercise with utmost integrity, in accordance with the established and time-tested principles and without a shade of bias and unfairness towards the ruling party at the Centre.

Finally, as per the established procedure and precedents, we expect that the draft recommendations of the Commission would be shared with all the political parties for inviting their objections/suggestions with adequate notice and material. The Commission must, then, proceed to grant a fair hearing to INC and other political parties with an open and judicious mind before finalizing the recommendations, besides the draft recommendations should also be accessible to members of the public so that anyone can give their suggestions in the interest of strengthening the democratic structures, Party demanded in the Memorandum.

INC assures the Commission of its cooperation with a view to restoring full statehood for Jammu and Kashmir.

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