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J & K delimitation panel finalises order for redrawing constituencies

In what is expected to pave the way for the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the delimitation commission, tasked with redrawing the electoral map of the Union Territory, finalised its report today, a day before its extended two-month term was to end.

Ashok Tuteja | New Delhi |

 In what is expected to pave the way for the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the delimitation commission, tasked with redrawing the electoral map of the Union Territory, finalised its report today, a day before its extended two-month term was to end.

The commission, headed by retired Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai and Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and J & K Election Commissioner KK Sharma as ex-officio members, signed the final order. The Gazette notification for the same has also been published.

The order and the report detailing delimitation will come into effect from the date to be notified by the centre.

J&K was stripped of its statehood and divided into two Union Territories in August 2019 when the Centre also nullified Constitution’s Article 370 to end the region’s semi-autonomous status.

According to the delimitation order, out of the 90 Assembly Constituencies (ACs) in the region, 43 will be part of the Jammu region and 47 of the Kashmir region. Twenty four seats for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir will continue to remain vacant.

After consultation with associate members, representatives of political parties, citizens and civil society groups, nine ACs have been reserved for STs, out of which, six are in the Jammu region and three in the valley.

The region will have five Parliamentary Constituencies. They include the one carved out by combining Anantnag in Kashmir and Rajouri and Poonch in the Jammu region. By this reorganisation, each Parliamentary Constituency will have an equal number of 18 ACs each.

Names of some ACs have also been changed keeping in view the demand of local representatives.

The Delimitation Commission was constituted by the centre in the exercise of powers conferred by Section 3 of Delimitation Act, 2002 (33 of 2002), for the purpose of delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary Constituencies in J & K. The commission associated in its work, five members of the Lok Sabha elected from the Union Territory. These associate members were nominated by the Lok Sabha Speaker.

The Delimitation Commission was entrusted with the work of delimiting the Assembly and Parliamentary Constituencies in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir on the basis of the 2011 Census and in accordance with the provisions of Part-V of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 (34 of 2019) and the provisions of Delimitation Act, 2002(33 of 2002).