Panthers party and BJP have refused the allegations of a section of Kashmiri political and business voices that the recent creation of New Administrative Units ‘was to weaken the Muslim areas of the state’.
Chief of Panthers Party, Harsh Dev Singh said that the argument dished out by the separatists and the valley based traders that since the valley had more population it deserved increased share in the new administrative units was not tenable because the difference in the population ration between the Kashmir valley and the region of Jammu was quite small.
“While the valley has a population of about 69 lakhs the region of Jammu has a population of about 55 lakhs against this the total area of the valley was over 15000 sq kms when the total area of the region of Jammu was over 26,ooo sq kms,” Harshdev said.
BJP leader, Dr Nirmal Singh said that the Ganai Committee report on new administrative units was yet another case of discrimination with Jammu. The two leaders said that they have not yet expressed their opinion on the merits and demerits of the new scheme related to the administrative units but they wish to clarify that the Kashmiri separatists and traders should not give a communal touch to a mere administrative exercise.
Singh and Harsh further said that for decades the region of Jammu has been given a raw deal and the basic cause for the regional discrimination has been the wrong delimitation of Assembly and the Lok Sabha constituencies. They said that with a bigger area and with least population differences the Kashmir valley has 46 Assembly constituencies, three Lok Sabha segments against 37 Assembly segments and two Lok Sabha constituencies in the Jammu region.
“We have been campaigning against regional discrimination by focusing on equal share in the allotment of Assembly and Lok Sabha segments but we do not protest against regional discrimination by communalizing the issue,” Harsh said adding that neither the separatists nor the valley based traders should give a communal colour to the Government’s exercise on setting up new administrative units.If the separatists want more units they should demand it to bring about parity between the two regions and if they do so let the process start from increasing the number of Assembly segments in the Jammu region to 46.”