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Delimitation Commission to visit J&K in July

The centre has made it clear that delimitation will be held before holding fresh elections for the assembly.

SP Sharma | Jammu |

In a bid to accelerate the delimitation of constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir to enable the holding of assembly elections, the Delimitation Commission will reach the union territory (UT) on a four-day visit on 6 July to interact with political parties, officers and other stakeholders. The commission will camp in the UT till 9 July.

The centre has made it clear that delimitation will be held before holding fresh elections for the assembly. However, constituents of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Alliance (PAGD) during the recent meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought elections first and delimitation later. The National Conference (NC) that represents all 3 Lok Sabha seats of the Kashmir valley had as special invitees skipped the first meeting of the commission at New Delhi. However, the party has now authorized Dr Farooq Abdullah to take a final decision on the issue of putting their point of view before the commission.

The commission headed by Justice (Retired) Mrs Ranjana Prakash Desai in the presence of the chief election commissioner Sushil Chandra on Wednesday decided to visit J&K in the first week of July when it expects that all stakeholders will cooperate in this endeavour and will provide valuable suggestions so that the task of delimitation is completed timely.

During this period, the Commission will interact with political parties, public representatives and Union Territory administration officials including District Election Officers and deputy commissioners of all 20 districts to gather first-hand information and input concerning the ongoing process of delimitation as mandated under the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019.

The Delimitation Commission was constituted in March 2020 and its term was extended by another year in March 2021 in view of the ongoing pandemic. The third member of the Commission is the State Election Commissioner of Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. The Commission also has five associate members nominated by the Speaker, Lok Sabha.

The Commission already had series of meetings related to data and a map of the constituencies related to census 2011. A number of representations have also been received on various aspects concerning delimitation from civil societies and members of the public from the UT. The commission has already taken note of all such suggestions and directed that these may be deliberated further in the context of ground realities concerning delimitation.