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J&K political parties reject Delimitation Commission’s draft recommendations

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Allege Delimitation Commission's recommendations ‘guided by BJP's political agenda’

Srinagar: Kashmir-based mainstream political parties on Monday expressed dismay over the recommendations of the Delimitation Commission in Jammu and Kashmir, alleging that it seems the exercise was carried out in furtherance of the “BJP’s political agenda”.

“The draft recommendation of the J&K delimitation commission is unacceptable. The distribution of newly created assembly constituencies with 6 going to Jammu & only 1 to Kashmir is not justified by the data of the 2011 census,” National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said in a series of tweets.

He said the commission appears to have allowed the political agenda of BJP to dictate its recommendations.

“It is deeply disappointing that the commission appears to have allowed the political agenda of the BJP to dictate its recommendations rather than the data which should have been its only consideration. Contrary to the promised “scientific approach” it’s a political approach,” Abdullah said.

People’s Conference (PC) chairman Sajad Gani Lone said the recommendations “reek of bias”.

“The recommendations of the delimitation commission are totally unacceptable. They reek of bias. What a shock for those who believe in democracy,” Lone said in a tweet.

“My apprehensions about the Delimitation Commission werent misplaced. They want to pitch people against each other by ignoring the population census & proposing 6 seats for one region & only one for Kashmir,” PDP president Mehbooba Mufti tweeted while reacting to the commission’s draft recommendations.

Pertinently, Mufti had on Saturday called the J&K Delimitation Commission “BJP’s commission” saying she had no faith in it.

“This commission has been created simply to serve BJPs political interests by dividing people along religious & regional lines. The real game plan is to install a government in J&K which will legitimise the illegal & unconstitutional decisions of August 2019,” Mufti said in a tweet.

Terming the draft recommendation of the Delimitation Commission as divisive and unacceptable, CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami Monday said it is another step to further dis-empower Kashmiris politically.

“The distribution of newly created Assembly constituencies with six going to Jammu and only one to Kashmir is not justified and it will increase gaps between regions and communities,” he said.

“The constitution of Delimitation Commission under J&K Reorganisation Act-2019 in itself is questionable as the Reorganisation Act has been challenged in the Supreme Court. The constitution of Delimitation Commission was akin to contempt of the court — how can the government of India do so when the matter is sub-judice?” Tarigami said.

He said the CPI(M) had recently moved an application in the apex court for early hearing of the writ petition filed in 2019 against “unconstitutional and undemocratic” revocation of special status of J&K under Article 370 and J&K Reorganisation Act-2019.

“We had apprised the apex court that despite the matter being sub-judice, the government of India was taking irreversible steps which were harmful for the interests of people of J&K. We will continue our legal and political fight against the arbitrary, unconstitutional and undemocratic decisions of the BJP government,” he said.

Altaf Bukhari led Apni Party also rejected the commission’s proposal, saying it “is outrightly unacceptable to us” while demanding Centre’s intervention.

“J&K Apni Party rejects the proposal of the delimitation commission. This is outrightly unacceptable to us. Apni Party demands a fair delimitation exercise without any bias, taking population and districts as the base. We strongly demand the GoI to intervene,” the party said in a statement.

“The current proposal stands in total contrast to the process and guidelines mandated by the laws governing delimitation in the country. The district areas and their respective population numbers were to be taken into consideration as per the census of 2011 which for some unknown reason is missing from the said report,” Bukhari said adding, not only the population criteria has been ignored but it seems that the commission has done away with the representational requirements of the existing administrative units.

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