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Politics may delay J&K delimitation process

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Srinagar: While former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has directly blamed the Central government for trying to “engineer” demographic changes in the Assembly segments in order to change the Muslim majority character of erstwhile J&K state, the National Conference, at a day-long convention held in Jammu, has passed several resolutions demanding the complete mergence of two UTs of J&K and Ladakh as it existed before 5 August 2019 and also restoration of Article 370 and 35-A of the Constitution.
Mehbooba Mufti has been in New Delhi, and apart from holding protests at Jantar Mantar, she has gone all guns blazing against the BJP for its policies in Jammu and Kashmir. She accused the central government for having “Divisive Agenda” and said the entire delimitation exercise was being conducted only to benefit the BJP in Jammu region.
She said, “The entire country is waiting for delimitation till 2026, why are they doing so in J&K? It is part of their divisive agenda. They are trying to increase seats and organize some seats in Jammu in such a way that it diminishes the Muslim majority character of J&K.”
Farooq Abdullah has said that he is ready along with his party cadres to go for a long struggle with sacrifices to get back the dignity and honour of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Mehbooba Mufti has said that she will not contest any elections unless she, along with other political parties in Jammu and Kashmir, gets back the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
In the winter capital of Jammu, Farooq Abdullah has galvanized the party cadres after the party heavyweight and the close friend of Omar Abdullah; Devender Singh Rana has joined BJP and has been trying to press the demand for the separate statehood to the Jammu region. Farooq Abdullah held an impressive party convention and also demanded restoration of the Darbar move practice, as L-G Manoj Sinha has decided not to go for such wasteful expenditure in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.
Among the resolutions by the National Conference in Jammu, have been the special package for the tourism industry, employment for youth, implementation of the Mandal Commission recommendations in Jammu and Kashmir, a legal guarantee of minimum support price for farmers of Jammu and Kashmir.
National Conference in its Jammu resolution has said that the central government was responsible for “downgrading and downsizing by bifurcating it into two Union Territories, disrupting the social fabric, integrity and composite culture of the erstwhile state.” “It is also imperative to safeguard the jobs and land of the people of Jammu and Kashmir for the people of Jammu and Kashmir which is only possible with the restoration of the pre-5 August 2019 situation,” the National Conference said in its resolution. The Union Home Ministry informed the Parliament that they have formed a Delimitation Commission headed by Justice (Retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai for delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It is in place to mention that the Jammu region has been crying discrimination in the Assembly seats and they are confident that the present delimitation exercise will be able to provide them with more Assembly segments to end Kashmir’s “hegemony” over them.

When the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was downgraded in two Union territories, the UT of Ladakh had been declared to be without legislature and it reduces the Assembly seats of Jammu and Kashmir assembly to 83 from 87 seats as the 4 Assembly seats of Ladakh would not be counted now. Political analysts believe that the delimitation exercise will help the Jammu region and the seats may be enhanced from 83 to 90, thus giving an edge to the BJP to form a government with the chief minister of their party in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.

Sunday Guardian

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