Anantnag: On its second day of J&K visit, the Delimitation Commission visited Pahalgam on Wednesday and met various political parties and members of the public from all four South Kashmir districts.
The Commission comprising Chairperson Justice (retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai and Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra interacted with representatives of BJP, Congress, National Conference, JK Apni Party.
It also held a meeting with Gujar and Pahari forums.
The BJP delegation led by its National Council Member Rafiq Ahmad Wani told reporters that they sought an increase of one assembly seat in the Anantnag district.
“The population of Anantnag district is the largest after Jammu and Srinagar, so we are for increasing a seat in the district,” Wani said.
He said they also sought one reserved seat for Gujar and Paharis under the ST category as the community has been neglected for the past 70 years.
BJP district presidents Kulgam, Pulwama, Shopian, and Anantnag said they also sought realignment of some villages as per their proximity to Tehsil headquarters, block headquarters, CD (Panchayat) block, Medical block and police station.
Congress district presidents of south Kashmir also met the Commission.
“We endorsed the views put forward by our leaders in yesterday’s Srinagar meeting,” said Gulzar Ahmad Wani, former MLA Shangus and district president Anantnag.
He said they reiterated restoration of J&K’s statehood first and later elections and delimitation.
National Conference delegation who met the Commission comprised of district presidents from Anantnag and Pulwama.
“We presented memorandum to the Commission and put forward our viewpoint. They listened to us keenly and assured us that before going for the exercise they would make roadmap public and that we would be given chance to file objections if any,” former MLA Pahalgam Altaf Ahmad Wani (Kaloo) told media persons
Kaloo said they even told the Commission that it should have waited for supreme court decision on revocation of J&K’s special status before going for delimitation.
“We also suggested the Commission to consider population census 2011 while going for the exercise.
JK Apni Party leader and former MLA Pahalgam, Rafi Ahmad Mir, said they told the Commission to restore the trust of people by conducting the exercise transparently.
“We told them that they were not expecting the delimitation to happen in J&K at this juncture but in 2026 like in other parts of the country,” Mir said.
He, however, said that staying away from the exercise was not the solution and apprehensions if any can be addressed by participating in it.
Former MLA Kokernag Abdul Raheem Rather was also part of the Apni Party delegation that met the Commission.