Population not sole criteria for J&K delimitation: CEC Chandra

Population not sole criteria for J&K delimitation: CEC Chandra
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New Delhi, May 13: Population was an important but not the sole criterion while carrying out the delimitation exercise in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra said on Friday and asserted that the union territory has to be seen as "one unit" where the entire population has to be given representation in 90 assembly constituencies.

Chandra, who was an ex-officio member of the delimitation panel which gave its final order on restructuring the assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir earlier this month, also said there were "lots of problems" with the earlier delimitation and those have been corrected now.

He was responding to questions on criticism from certain quarters that going by the population ratio, Kashmir Division got a lesser number of seats as compared to Jammu.

"Population is only one of the criteria of the delimitation. Besides population, there are four other criteria as per provisions of the Delimitation Act and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act which say that consideration will also have to be given to the physical conditions, and communication facilities, public conveniences and the administrative units of that area. So these are four other criteria that have to be looked into. It (population) is one of the important criteria but not the sole criteria. That one should keep in mind," Chandra told PTI.

Chandra, who demits the office of CEC on Saturday, said Jammu and Kashmir should be seen as one unit. "It cannot be (seen) in different parts. It is one single union territory. The whole population will have to be given representation in 90 constituencies. The (Kashmir) valley has been given less or Jammu (division) has been given less -- it is one whole unit comprising 20 districts and 207 tehsils. We will have to see it as one whole unit."

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