by Yawar Hussain
SRINAGAR: In a major development, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah informed the J&K’s all-party meeting that every political outfit which even has one elected member in the District Development Council would be part of the Delimitation Commission.
Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party Chief Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari told Kashmir Life that the Home Minister told them that the Delimitation Commission would have two associate members from each party which has a single DDC member.
“Home Minister said that they have amended the commission’s structure to accommodate views and suggestions of all parties from Jammu and Kashmir,” Bukhari said.
Sources privy to the development also told Kashmir Life that the Home Minister in his speech to the politicians said that the delimitation of assembly constituencies which is currently underway in Jammu and Kashmir can have members from every political party which even has a single DDC member.
The Delimitation Commission in Jammu and Kashmir was set up by the central government post the reading down of Article 370 under the J&K Reorganisation Act 2019.
The Delimitation Commission is headed by Justice (Retd) Ranjana Desai along with Sushil Chandra (Election Commissioner) and K. K Sharma (J&K Election Commissioner) as members.
Earlier, the five parliament members from Jammu and Kashmir were the only ones from the union territory who were associate members of the commission with an advisory role.
The two parliamentarians from Jammu, who are from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party include the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Dr Jitendra Singh.
However, the three Kashmiri parliament members from the National Conference had earlier decided not to participate but are now mulling to reconsider the decision.
Also, in the all-party meeting called by the Prime Minister earlier this week, the politicians from J&K demanded delimitation, statehood, and then elections while the central government has stated that after delimitation elections would be conducted post which statehood would be restored at an “appropriative time”.
In the DDC elections held last year, the BJP has 75 seats, NC has 67; PDP 27; Congress 26; Apni Party 12; JKPC 8; CPI(M) 5; JKPM 3;JKNPP 2; PDF 2; BSP 1 and Independents have 50 seats. THE Apni Party’s seat number rose significantly after the results were announced.
After the all-party meeting, the Home Minister tweeted, “We are committed to ensuring all-round development of J&K. The future of Jammu and Kashmir was discussed, and the delimitation exercise and peaceful elections are important milestones in restoring statehood as promised in parliament.”
The PDP, which is part of PAGD, has already stated that NC can go ahead with the delimitation commission.
Meanwhile, the NC has written to the commission seeking “clarity” on the matter which hasn’t yet replied to them.
As per the J&K Reorganisation Act 2019, seven new seats would be added to the assembly of Jammu and Kashmir.