Reacting to its draft proposals on reorganization of assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, CPI(M) leader Mohamad Yousuf Tarigami on Sunday accused the Delimitation Commission of furthering the interests of BJP to fetch them electoral gains.
The Commission had on Friday given copies of its draft proposals on reshaping the assembly constituencies to the five associate members belonging to BJP and National Conference and sought their objections.
In a statement, Tarigami said that the draft proposals of the Delimitation Commission are in line with the current ruling dispensation.
The Commission has recommended a strange geographical layout for redrawing the boundaries of several parliamentary and assembly poll constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, he said.
The draft proposal shared by the Commission with its associate members—as media reports suggest—seems even incongruous with the Commission’s earlier argument of taking into account the topography and difficult terrain while re-mapping the poll constituencies.
Tarigami said the Commission has proposed an “arbitrary overhaul” in the existing territorial constituencies with no regard for even the terrain, let alone the population that tends to be a basic parameter for redrawing the boundaries of assembly and parliamentary segments.
The Commission has proposed carving of Anantnag-Rajouri parliamentary constituency comprising Rajouri and Poonch districts from Jammu division, and Anantnag, Kulgam and parts of Shopian from Kashmir division. The fair weather Mughal road connecting the districts of Poonch and Rajouri with Kulgam and Anantnag districts via Shopian remains shut for months together, making the border districts off-limits to the Valley. The draft proposal lays bare the utter disregard for the topography and tribal population, he said.
Tarigami said there is a general feeling among the masses in both the region—Jammu and Kashmir—that the Commission’s recommendations are in line with the current ruling dispensation. The Delimitation Commission, which was supposed to serve as an independent constitutional authority is seen as furthering the interests of one particular political party only to fetch them electoral gains.
CPI (M) has already made it clear that the draft proposal of the Commission is unpalatable to the party and the CPI(M) has moved to the Supreme Court to challenge the Reorganization Act itself under which the delimitation process has been initiated.
CPI(M) rejects the proposal in its present form and emphatically believes that the draft recommendations are inimical to the larger interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, which could jeopardize regional unity.
CPI(M) calls on the people of Jammu and Kashmir as well as the rest of the country to speak out against the policies that seek to divide the region along communal lines, Tarigami added.
Reacting to the draft proposals, the Congress party said that people are surprised over the kind of divisions, clubbing of certain areas ignoring the ground realities putting the people to great hardships and worst inconvenience in most areas. This is certainly not as per the needs, wishes and aspirations of people, said JKPCC chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma.
J&K Apni Party leader, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali, who is a former legislator from Rajouri district, said that shifting of Nagrota of Rajouri Tehsil comprising of Nagrota, Palma, Charan, Sankari sanukote, kotedhara and Mera Panchyats from Darhal constituency is not acceptable as the area is very integral part of the constituency, we have already made it clear to Delimitation Commission. We will again approach Delimitation Commission with our objections and demand not to disturb the natural boundaries of this area.
He said that 19 assembly constituencies have been wiped out by the Commission and merged with other segments. These are; Kalakote, Chhamb, Raipur-Domana, Suchegtarh, Gandhi Nagar, Nagrota, Gool Arnas, Gulabgarh, Inderwal, Shangus, Kokernag, Homeshaulibugh, Noorabad, Wachi, Batamalloo, Hazratbal, Zadibal, Gulmarg and Sangrama.