NC MPs won't participate in Delimitation Commission

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Day after Government of India nominated its three Members of Parliament as members of the Delimitation Commission for redrawing boundaries of assembly segments in Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference on Friday said it has “rejected” this process and its MPs will not participate in the Commission.

The decision comes after three of its MPs – Dr Farooq Abdullah, Hasnain Masoodi and Muhammad Akbar Lone – were nominated as associate members of Delimitation Commission by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. Two BJP MPs from Jammu have also been nominated in the Commission.

In a statement, NC said its leaders will not be a part of the Delimitation Commission as it “goes against its party stand” on the issue of Abrogation of Article 370.

“With reference to the recently announced Delimitation Commission announced by Government of India, Jammu & Kashmir National Conference today rejects this process and its three members of the Parliament will not participate in the said commission,” the statement said. “This delimitation commission is a product of the J&K Re-organization Act 2019 which JKNC is challenging in and outside Hon’ble Supreme Court. Participating in this delimitation Commission will be tantamount to accepting the events of 5th Aug 2019 which the NC is unwilling to do.”

The decision of the NC to “reject” the Delimitation Commission holds significance in light of National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah presently visiting New Delhi for the first time ever since his release on March 24 from the 8-month long detention. Prior to Omar’s release, his father and National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah was also released from detention on March 13.

Dr Farooq was put under detention for more than seven months at his Gupkar residence, which was declared as a subsidiary jail. While release of the Abdullah father-son duo was being seen by many as a stage set for revival of political activity in J&K, time and again NC leadership has reiterated that any political activity in Jammu and Kashmir “is possible only after release of all incarcerated political leaders.”

National Conference top political leadership was among hundreds of political leaders put under detention after August 5, 2019, when Government of India revoked the special Constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the State into two Union Territories.

Ever since, NC like many other political parties including Peoples Democratic Party have strongly opposed the Government of India’s move of abrogating Article 370 and decided to stay away from any political process.