J&K Delimitation Commission holds first meet, NC leaders skip

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The Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday held its first meeting here to seek suggestion and views on the process of delimitation in the Union Territory.

An overview on the process of delimitation based on the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 and the Delimitation Act, 2002 was presented before the Members detailing various sections of these Acts related to the delimitation exercise of Jammu and Kashmir.

Of the five associate members, only Union Minister Jitendra Singh and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Jugal Kishore Sharma attended the meeting and suggested that “delimitation of constituencies should be practicable”.

Appreciating the Commission’s efforts, the two also said that regard should be given to physical features, existing boundaries of administrative units, facilities of communication and public convenience.

They also suggested to give special attention to the difficult terrain while carrying out the delimitation exercise.

The other three associate members — Jammu and Kashmir National Conference leaders Farooq Abdullah, Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi — did not attend the meeting even after the Commission had sent a written intimation to them on February 5.

The Commission comprising of Chairperson, Justice (retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai, ex-officio members Sushil Chandra (Election Commissioner) and K.K Sharma (State Election Commissioner, J&K) held the meeting with the two associate members.

Sushil Chandra welcomed their valuable inputs and expressed satisfaction of the Delimitation Commission on the suggestions and views of the two associate members.

The members desired to put forward more suggestions in coming days.

The Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir was constituted by the Central government on March 6 last year to redraw Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies of the Union Territory in accordance with the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which carved out the erstwhile state into two UTs– J&K with an Assembly and Ladakh without one. Both the UTs — J&K and Ladakh — came into being on October 31, 2019 after the state was reorganised.