Jammu: Delimitation Commission, headed by Justice (retired) Ranjana Prakash Desai, has almost finalised its report vis-a-vis the reconfiguration of assembly and parliamentary constituencies of J&K.
Reports quoting official sources have stated that it may submit its final report to the Union Law Ministry on April 30 or May 2, well ahead of the expiry of its revised deadline i.e., May 6, 2022.
“The Commission is almost ready with its report by incorporating certain suggestions or slightly tweaking its recommendations by adhering to fewer convincing objections. However, one should not expect any major deviation from its earlier draft proposals,” reports suggested.
On April 4 and 5, the Commission had held separate public sittings in Jammu and Srinagar respectively and heard objections and suggestions from delegations of people, political parties and civil society members to its draft proposals.
After public sittings, the Commission had hinted that it could include some of the suggestions received during its deliberations.
The 3-member Delimitation Commission, also comprising the Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and State Election Commissioner (SEC) K K Sharma as its members, was set up on March 6, 2020 with one year term. However in the wake of COVID pandemic, its term was extended on March 6, 2021 for another one year.
The Commission is to submit its final report by or before May 6, 2022, its revised deadline (after its term was further extended by two months).
Earlier on March 14, the Delimitation Commission had put its proposals, recommending massive reconfiguration of assembly and parliamentary constituencies in J&K, in public domain inviting objections and suggestions from people till March 21, 2022.
Prior to it on March 4, 2022, both the National Conference and BJP had submitted their suggestions and objections to the tweaked draft of the Commission. Earlier, they had submitted their objections to the Commission’s initial draft on December 31, 2021 and then again to its revised draft on February 14, 2022.
Besides the proposals, the suggestions and dissent reports submitted by its Associate members from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and National Conference (NC) were also put in public domain.
Five Associate members of the Commission included Dr Farooq Abdullah, Mohd Akbar Lone and Justice (retired) Hasnain Masoodi from National Conference and Dr Jitendra Singh and Jugal Kishore Sharma from BJP.
The draft proposals of Commission were published in pursuance of sub-section (5) of Section 60 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 (34 of 2019), read with sub-section 2 of section 9 of the Delimitation Act, 2002. They had complete data about the composition of Patwar and Tehsil halqas which, following redrawing of the boundaries, will be part of the proposed 90 seats of J&K Assembly and five parliamentary constituencies.
The Commission, in its proposals, has increased seven assembly segments, six in Jammu and one in Kashmir division.
The number of Parliamentary constituencies remains static i.e., five though they have to witness massive reconfiguration of boundaries. Among the major changes in the parliamentary constituencies, one LS segment in its new geographical format i.e., Anantnag-Rajouri will be spread to both Kashmir and Jammu divisions.
However, no LS segment has been declared reserved. As per proposals, out of 90 assembly segments (43 in Jammu division, 47 in Kashmir division), sixteen constituencies will be reserved.