Row Erupts After Indian Government Seeks to Redraw Jammu and Kashmir Electoral Map

© Sputnik / Azaan JavaidDelimitation Commission submits report to redraw electoral map of Jammu and Kashmir
Delimitation Commission submits report to redraw electoral map of Jammu and Kashmir - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.05.2022
The scandal comes as part of the Indian government's 2019 move to revoke the semi-autonomous status of Indian-administered Kashmir and break it into two united territories under direct federal rule. The move was rejected by Pakistan, China and regional political parties.
A political row has erupted in the Jammu and Kashmir region of India after a three-member commission established by the federal government recommended redrawing the region's electoral constituencies.
In a statement, the commission said that the recommendations made in its final report to the electoral commission were in line with the demands of the people of J&K, with whom they had met, and were aimed at smooth governance of the region.
In response, senior regional politicians issued statements against the commission and its report, accusing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) of “invasion” and of violating the constitution.
Prominent regional parties have not only refused to accept the federal government’s 2019 decision but also all moves and policies ushered in after the removal of J&K’s autonomy, including the Delimitation Commission.
The commission was tasked with redrawing the electoral map of Jammu and Kashmir, with the ruling BJP maintaining that there was disparity in the locally elected representatives in favour of Kashmir’s Muslim majority and against Jammu’s Hindu community.
“They [the commission] have lost the confidence of people. This is an effort to help BJP to win [in the next local elections]. They [BJP] have ruined institutions. This is an invasion. They [the commission] haven’t followed the norms for this process,” Rouf Bhat, spokesperson of the region's Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) told reporters. The PDP was part of an alliance government with the BJP between 2015 and 2018.
Before the revocation of J&K’s special autonomy under articles 370 and 35A of the constitution, the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which also included Ladakh, had a total of 87 assembly seats. Forty-six of these were held by the Muslim majority Kashmir division, 37 by the Hindu majority Jammu and four in Ladakh. The erstwhile state was divided into six parliamentary seats that were part of the lower house of India’s parliament.
Ladakh was separated and made into a union territory without a local assembly. The commission divided J&K into 90 assembly constituencies. The report recommends an increase of six assembly constituencies in Jammu and only one in Kashmir.
In a statement issued to the press, the commission stated, “Out of the 90 assembly constituencies in the region, 43 will be part of Jammu region and 47 for Kashmir region keeping in view the provisions of Section 9(1)(a) of the Delimitation Act, 2002 and Section 60(2)(b) of Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2O19”.
MY Tarigami, a senior politician with the Communist Party of India (Marxist), told reporters, “We were never consulted, and any decision taken in our absence can never be the right decision and can never be acceptable to us.”
For his part, Imran Dar, a spokesperson of the regions’ National Conference party told journalists that the BJP’s “proxies had been benefitted” by the report.
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала