06 Jul 2021: PDP to shun J&K's delimitation exercise; says 'outcome pre-planned'
The People's Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday said that it will stay away from the delimitation exercise in Jammu and Kashmir as the same has been "pre-planned." The statement came on the day that the Delimitation Commission reached Srinagar in J&K for a four-day visit. The commission will speak to political parties and officials to draw new electoral constituencies in the erstwhile state.
Statement: 'Delimitation aimed at realizing particular political party's vision'
The PDP—which is led by former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti—wrote to the head of the commission, Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai. The delimitation process is aimed at disempowering the people of J&K and realizing the "political vision of a particular political party." "It is a widespread belief...the exercise is a mere formality. The very intent is under question," the letter said.
Fact: 'Wishes of J&K's people would be considered least'
The letter further said, "There are apprehensions that the process is aimed at realizing the political vision of a particular political party in J&K wherein, like other things, the views and wishes of the people of J&K would be considered least."
History: Delimitation Commission was formed in March 2020
The Centre had formed Delimitation Commission last March, six months after the special status of the erstwhile state of J&K was repealed in August 2019. The state was also split into two union territories: J&K (with a Legislative Assembly) and Ladakh (without one). The delimitation of the constituencies in J&K was to be held in 2026.
Fact: Centre increased constituencies in J&K from 87 to 90
The J&K Reorganisation Act—through which the state was bifurcated—increased the number of polling constituencies from 87 to 90. The Delimitation Commission will also create constituencies for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in a first for J&K. It has nine months to finalize the process.
Quote: Abrogation of Article 370 left people humiliated, demeaned: PDP GenSec
PDP General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura said that the people of J&K were "humiliated and demeaned" after the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A on August 5, 2019. He said the Centre's actions to downgrade and bifurcate a 200-year-old state were "unconstitutional." Hanjura said, "We're of the considered opinion that the Delimitation Commission lacks legal and constitution mandate in the first place."
Recent news: Modi's all-party meeting last month left several dissatisfied
On June 24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held an all-party meeting with political leaders from J&K. However, leaders of the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration—a group of major political parties including the PDP to restore J&K's special status—were not satisfied with the meeting. The group had demanded the restoration of J&K's statehood, which Modi said will happen "at the right time."
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Also see: J&K statehood: What will happen at Modi's June 24 meet?
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