NEW DELHI: With the Union Home Ministry (MHA) mulling over fresh delimitation of Assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, NC leader Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said that his party would oppose “tooth and nail” any such attempt without a mandate from the people of the state.
“When delimitation takes place in the rest of the country, the BJP is welcome to apply it to J&K until then we in the @JKNC_ will oppose, tooth & nail, any attempt to make changes without a mandate from the people of the state,” tweeted Abdullah.
In his earlier tweet, he said: “The freeze on delimitation was applied to J&K and was done to bring the state in line with the rest of the country. The same was challenged and upheld in both the High Court of J&K and the Supreme Court”.
“It’s rather surprising that the BJP, which talks about bringing J&K at par with other states by removing 370 and 35-A now wants to treat J&K differently from other states in this one respect,” he said in his subsequent tweet.
It is reliably learnt that the MHA is pondering over the appointment of a delimitation commission to study the Assembly constituencies and come up with its recommendations.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday held a high-level meeting on the current security scenario in the state and the preparedness for the Amarnath Yatra. The meeting takes place just three days after he took charge as the Union Home Minister.
However, Jammu and Kashmir activist Sushil Pandit said that it is a “correct decision” by the Central government to consider the delimitation of Assembly seats in the state.
“It is a correct decision. There are around 65,000 people in every Assembly constituency in Jammu, while Kashmir has only 42,000-43,000 people. Based on this, there should be more Assembly seats in Jammu. Also, there should be more seats in Leh and Ladakh,” Pandit told ANI.
“In 2002, then Farooq Abdullah government had frozen delimitation till 2026 by amending an Act. The then Atal Bihari Vajpayee government had also agreed to their decision…There should be around 50 seats in Jammu and two seats should be increased in Leh-Ladakh,” he said.
“The seats of in Kashmir Valley should be reduced. I will request the Central government to go for delimitation before the Assembly elections in the state. If required, the government should postpone the elections too,” said Pandit.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday said that it was considering holding the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir later this year. It said that the election schedule for the conduct of assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir would be announced after the conclusion of Amarnath Yatra.
“The Commission will keep on regularly and on real-time basis monitoring the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, taking inputs from all necessary quarters and after the conclusion of Amarnath Yatra will announce the election schedule for the conduct of assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir,” read the release from the ECI. (ANI)