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Term extended

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The central government recently extended the term of the Delimitation Commission by one year and excluded the north-eastern states from its mandate giving fuel to the speculations that there would be no elections and this exercise was purely Kashmir centric and the earlier claims of the government that it was for many areas had not held ground.

The Union ministry of law and justice issued a notification recently extending the tenure of the commission headed by Justice (retd) Ranjana Desai by one year. The commission’s term was coming to end on March 5, 2021 while the commission has made little headway to hold the meetings with the associate members who are the sitting MP’s from Jammu and Kashmir.

The Delimitation Commission is a panel that was set up last year to redraw the electoral constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir and four northeastern states Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. However, the one-year extension has only been ordered for Jammu and Kashmir, triggering sharp political reactions from the mainstream political parties who were expecting early elections and restoration of statehood.

The move has led to speculations that the government has decided to delay the election process in Jammu and Kashmir for another year. Jammu and Kashmir Assembly was dissolved in 2018 and since then, Jammu and Kashmir is under the governor’s rule and even the status of union territory has not been changed by the union government.

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