BJP conspiring to allot larger share of Assembly seats to Kashmir: Harsh

JAMMU May 30: “While delimitation of Assembly Constituencies in J&K ought to have been the priority concern of the BJP Government in view its repeated assurances over the subject, the process has been inordinately delayed creating several apprehensions in the political and social circles”.
This was stated by Harsh Dev Singh, Chairman-JKNPP & former Minister. “It was on August 5, 2019 that the Parliament passed the J&K Reorganization Act providing for 90 Assembly seats for the new UT to be bifurcated in accordance with the new criteria laid down in see 60 of the said Act. The centre as well as the state BJP leadership during that period indulged in a lot of Jangle and rattle with tall claims of addressing all bias against Jammu region and ending the political hegemony of Kashmir by increasing the Assembly seats of Jammu region. It was however regrettable that the very same leadership had failed to ensure even the commencement delimitation exercise despite lapse of ten months”, said Singh.
He said that not only were the controversies being created over composition of the Delimitation Commission but BJP had started giving feelers of a possible lower share for Jammu region in the event of Delimitation being held as per census 2011. The BJP in its bid to further appease Kashmir seemed to be planning to give it a higher number of Assembly seats by cleverly conveying to the people that the population of Kashmir region as per 2011 census was higher than that of Jammu region. And all this gimmickry is being resorted to notwithstanding the fact that J&K Reorganization Act of 2019 does not give any weightage to population in the process of delimiting of Assembly seats.
Harsh Dev Singh said that under the J&K Reorganization Act, Jammu region is entitled a higher number of seats vis-à-vis Kashmir in view of the criteria laid down in section 60 of the said Act. He elucidated that the new criteria laid down in the said Act provided that “geographical compactness physical features, existing boundaries of administrative units, facilities of communication and convenience of the public” shall be the factors to be taken into consideration whole delimiting the constituencies in the new UT. “The population factor which was the major consideration in the erstwhile law on delimitation has been dropped in the Reorganization Act 2019. And the population factor will matter only in the constituencies to be reserved for SC and ST so as to ensure that only those seats are reserved where the proportion of their population to the total population in largest. With the new criteria weighing heavily in favour of Jammu region, it was entitled to atleast 50 seats in Assembly and minimum of 3 seats in Parliament as well.
Seeking early conclusion of the Delimitation process, Singh expressed the hope that the aspirations of the people of Jammu region expecting a fair deal in political power would be duly honoured in a time bound, transparent manner.
Yash Paul Kundal, General Secretary-JKNPP & former Minister and Gagan Partap Singh, Secretary JKNPP were also present.

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