On July 6, the Delimitation Commission is set to arrive in Jammu and Kashmir for a four-day visit. The Commission will be meeting with political parties, district officials to gather information about the process of redrawing the boundaries. The visit will conclude on July 9.
The commission and political members will first meet at Pahalgam and later the commission will be visiting Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam, and Shopian – the south of Kashmir. The delegation will move towards Srinagar in the evening to meet the local political parties of the area.
The commission will be interacting with district elections officers from Budgam, Bandipora, Baramulla, Kupwara, Srinagar, and Ganderbal.
The National Conference (NC) will be meeting with the delimitation commission. A five-member delegation including Abdul Raheem Rather, Mian Altaf Ahmad, Mohammad Shafi Uri, Sakina Ittoo, will join the commission at a hotel in Jammu and Kashmir.
In the meeting, it is expected that the committee will put their points of concern and ideas to the commission. Each party has been allotted twenty minutes to discuss their concerns with the commission. The meeting between the National Commission and the National Conference will begin at 5.10 pm and is expected to end by 5.30 pm.
Sajad Lone’s People’s Conference party has sent a delegation of four party members for the meeting. The Apni party of J&K has said its four party members will be joining the delimitation commission.
The political parties of Kashmir including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPI-M), National Panthers Party (NPP) are uncertain about the meeting with the commission delegation.
The central alliance in Jammu and Kashmir – People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) – which consists of six political parties including the National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had stated that the alliance did not reach a joint conclusion yet over the meeting with the commission. The individual parties in the alliance can take a decision, said the alliance.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) headed by Mehbooba Mufti will skip the meeting with the delimitation commission. After the meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month, the Gupkar alliance expressed disappointment. The decision comes after the statement made by the Gupkar alliance.
The Gupkar alliance expressed disappointment stating the central government failed to act on Confidence Building Measures including releasing political prisoners and taking concrete steps towards the siege of suppression that is prevailing in the union territory.
According to the spokesperson of the party, MY Tarigami, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had made the commitment in the parliament regarding the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir and should honor it.
The delimitation commission was set up in March last year by the center to re-draw constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir. The three-member commission is in Jammu and Kashmir for a four-day visit.
The assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir are expected to go up from 83 to 90 once the constituency has been redrawn. However, twenty-four seats will remain vacant as it falls under the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The commission comprises Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhushan, Justice (Retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra.
The basic tenets of the delimitation process include physical features, communication facility, public convenience, existing boundaries of the administrative unit. The census of 2011 will be the basis of the delimitation process.
An all-party meeting was held on 24 June in New Delhi. The open discussion was held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and various other parties including the National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Congress, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).
The agenda of the meeting was to restore statehood in Jammu and Kashmir and re-working the boundaries of the constituencies of the state. The Prime Minister discussed these measures and patiently heard the points raised by the other parties.
The meeting concluded that elections will be held in the union territory soon after the completion of the delimitation process.