The National Conference and the Congress on Tuesday met the visiting Delimitation Commission and urged it to carry out the exercise of redrawing the electoral constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir in a free, fair and transparent manner so that the unity and integrity of the union territory is safeguarded. The two parties submitted separate memoranda to the Commission headed by Justice (retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai outlining their concerns and demands related to the exercise, and saying it be carried out only after J&K is granted statehood again.
The CPI (M) also submitted a memorandum which highlighted the constitutional aspects of delimitation and the legal challenge to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019.
The National Conference said the delimitation exercise should not have been conducted till the Supreme Court decided on the pleas challenging the constitutional validity of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act 2019 and other related orders. It said the hearing in the cases got delayed due to the pandemic and all the petitions are expected to be taken up once the physical hearing commences.
The party said that under the constitutional scheme, the delimitation of assembly constituencies fell within the powers of the state of J&K and under the second proviso to sec 47 of the Constitution of J&K, it is to be undertaken once the figures of the first census after 2026 are published. The party said the delimitation exercise would be a credible effort in strengthening democracy only after full statehood is restored to J&K.
Here's a look at the pictures from the meeting
The party also suggested that the draft proposal prepared by the delimitation Commission be circulated among all the political parties for giving suggestions and submitting objections, if any.
"The Congress 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. "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," it added.
The CPI(M) said under the present circumstances, the 2011 census should be taken as the guiding frame for the delimitation exercise.
"The neglected sections of the population living in remote areas of the J&K also must be given due representation," the memorandum submitted by Ghulam Nabi Malik read.