The Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir, headed by Justice (retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai, will arrive here on a four-day visit on Tuesday. The panel will be meeting political leaders, civil society members, and District Election Officers or Deputy Commissioners of 20 districts of the region to take inputs related to the ongoing process of delimitation in the Union Territory.
Meanwhile, reports have emerged that People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti will skip the meeting with Delimitation Commission today.
It is also not clear whether National Conference (NC), the CPI(M) and the National Panthers Party (NPP) would meet the commission’s members or not.
“As far as the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) is concerned, our stand is that these are autonomous bodies and the respective political parties will decide about it (participating in commission’s meeting). Whatever the parties think is suitable for them, they will take steps accordingly,” PAGD spokesperson and CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami said.
J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) has confirmed that its delegation will meet the Commission.
The delimitation commission is tasked with redrawing the parliamentary and assembly constituencies in the Union Territory as mandated under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.
The Commission comprises of Chairperson, Justice (Retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai, ex-officio members Sushil Chandra (Election Commissioner) and KK Sharma (State Election Commissioner, J&K).
The Delimitation Commission was formed in March 2020 and its term had to be extended in March 2021 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Jugal Kishore Sharma, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference leaders Farooq Abdullah, Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi have been appointed by Lok Sabha Speaker as the five Associate members of the Commission.
The Commission’s visit comes after eight political parties from Jammu and Kashmir met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on June 24.
As per the rules, the number of Assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir will go up from 83 to 90 following the completion of the delimitation exercise.
Twenty-four seats of the assembly will remain vacant as they fall under Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK)