Ground Report | New Delhi: J&K: Eye on Delimitation; The Delimitation Commission has been in constant discussion since the recent all-party meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the leaders of Jammu and Kashmir.
Along with the political parties of Jammu and Kashmir, the attention of the general public is also on the four-day visit of the Delimitation Commission starting from July 6.
The commission, headed by Justice (Retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai, will be in the Kashmir division for the first two days and the Jammu division for the next two days.
In March 2020, the Central Government constituted the Delimitation Commission under the leadership of former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai. The members of this Delimitation Commission are former judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, besides Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and Jammu and Kashmir Election Commissioner KK Sharma.
Delimitation in J&K last time in 1995
Earlier delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir was done in 1963, 1973, and 1995.
Census was not conducted in the state in 1991. Because of this, the seats for the 1996 elections were decided on the basis of the 1981 census. (J&K: Eye on Delimitation)
The delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir will be under the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act (JKRA). It was passed by the Parliament in August 2019. It has also been talked about increasing the seats for Scheduled Tribes.
The JKRA clearly states that the delimitation in the Union Territory will be based on the 2011 Census.
In the month of June, the Delimitation Commission had written a letter to 20 district officers of Jammu and Kashmir seeking information from them on 18 points.
This includes topographic information, demographic patterns, and administrative challenges. This information is important because the commission wants to see the population of nomadic communities, on the basis of which the reserved seats will be decided.
Delimitation Commission meeting
The Delimitation Commission convened the first meeting on the procedure in February 2021. But only two out of five members attended. Union Minister Jitendra Singh and BJP MP Jugal Kishore Sharma had come to the meeting, but other members kept their distance.
National Conference MP and party chief Farooq Abdullah had said at the time that he had challenged the JKRA in the Supreme Court and would not engage in the delimitation process till the completion of the hearing.
Along with Abdullah, National Conference MPs Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi are also members of this panel. But after the meeting held in Delhi on June 24, the National Conference has said that they will participate in the process of delimitation.
The Delimitation Commission, which has been tasked with creating new constituencies, will be on a four-day visit to consult with various stakeholders to gather first-hand information and inputs about the ongoing process of redrawing the borders.
200 delegations to meet delimitation Commission
Meanwhile, sources said that around 200 delegations have expressed their willingness to meet the Delimitation Commission during their visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
Notably, the commission, which was set up in March 2020 to redraw the Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, is headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai.
Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and the Election Commissioner of Jammu and Kashmir are members of the commission, while all five are associate members of the Lok Sabha panel.
The issue of delimitation was also discussed during the all-party meeting, which was chaired on June 24 in New Delhi with leaders of various parties from Jammu and Kashmir.
Soon after the all-party meeting, the Delimitation Commission announced that it will visit Jammu and Kashmir to hold consultations with all stakeholders.