Every ethnic group should get a voice in next J&K Assembly: BJP

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Jammu, July 10 (PTI) The Bharatiya Janata Party's Jammu and Kashmir unit on Saturday laid emphasis on complete political justice to be the benchmark for the upcoming delimitation exercise in the Union territory.

'The most guiding parameter for the Delimitation Commission is political justice with every nook and corner of J&K as well as ensuring that almost every ethnic group gets a voice in the next Assembly,' former deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta said.

The party unit in J&K welcomes the central government's move to start the process of delimitation in the UT with the objective of providing political justice and reflecting the political aspirations of people in a more effective way.

The former deputy CM said the party batted strongly for defreezing eight out of 24 seats in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in the J&K Assembly and urged the Delimitation Commission to forward recommendations to the Centre.

'Interestedly, the same point has been endorsed by the Delimitation Commission while addressing media persons yesterday. We again stick to our demand that out of the 24 seats kept on freeze for PoJK, eight seats should be defreezed so as to ensure representation for those people who were displaced in 1947 from PoJK and are putting up in J&K,' the BJP leader said. He said it is in this viewpoint that the BJP has submitted a detailed memorandum canvassing a roadmap for the Delimitation Commission in J&K.

'More so, it is further made clear that we stick to our stand that population is a parameter and criterion for delimiting of seats but the veracity of 2011 Census is itself under question. The abnormal increase in population in various districts of Kashmir region and lesser enrolment under Aadhar are sufficient indicators of the fact,' he said.

The BJP leader claimed there were a larger number of 'non-voters' in the population survey of Kashmir unlike in Jammu region.

'We have tried to make a case that in addition to population, other criterion like geography, nature of terrain, facilities of communication should also be considered,' he added.

'This is for the first time that we will have political reservation for STs and due representation for SCs should also be properly accommodated in the Delimitation Commission report,' the former deputy CM said.

He appealed to all political parties and pressure groups to come forward and ensure that commission does not invite any ire or allegations of any sort of prejudice or bias. PTI AB HDA

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