‘Jammu Kashmir Reorganization Act 2019’, under which Article 370 and 35A were removed from Jammu and Kashmir and made it a Union Territory. It was then ensured by the government that soon the election process would be restored in Jammu and Kashmir by reconstituting the assembly and due to this the government constituted the ‘Delimitation Commission’ on 6 March 2020.
This commission, headed by former Supreme Court judge ‘Ranjana Prakash Desai’, included the Chief Election Commissioner of the country and the Chief Electoral Officer of Jammu and Kashmir. Apart from this, five Lok Sabha members were also part of this commission.
Initially, this commission was given a time of one year but further time was extended several times. On the basis of the report provided by this commission, the notification for the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir has been issued by the Election Commission. According to which there will be a total of 5 Lok Sabha seats and 90 Legislative Assemblies in Jammu and Kashmir.
Before 2019, there were 46 assemblies in Kashmir, 37 in Jammu and four in Ladakh. Apart from this, 24 seats were kept in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).
After the new delimitation, 90 seats are for Jammu and Kashmir and 24 for Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. A total of seven seats in Jammu and Kashmir have been recommended by the Delimitation Commission. In which the number of Legislative Assemblies in Jammu has been increased from 37 to 43 and in Kashmir from 46 to 47.
Apart from this, for the first time nine assembly seats have been reserved for ‘Scheduled Tribes’. Before becoming a union territory, there was no provision for such reservation in Jammu and Kashmir. Especially for the migrant Gujjar and Bakarwal community.
Talking about the Lok Sabha seats, the commission has changed the boundaries of the seats of Anantnag and Jammu. Jammu’s Pir-Panjal region has been merged with Kashmir’s Anantnag seat. Pir Panjal covers Poonch and Rajouri districts. Also a Shia-dominated area of Srinagar parliamentary constituency has also been shifted to Baramulla constituency in the Valley.
In addition, the commission has recommended the provision of at least two members from the community of Kashmiri migrants in the assembly. This recommendation has been made to address the oppression faced by them and to give them political and to ensure their rights. If Kashmiri migrants are nominated at the place of election, then there should be a woman among them who can be given the right to vote. Along with this, the commission has also recommended nomination of seats for the migrants of ‘Pakistan Occupied Kashmir’.
However, this decision of the Delimitation Commission is being criticized by many political parties and critics on the following grounds.
🍁 After this delimitation, 44% of the population of Jammu will vote in 48% of the seats, while 56% of the people living in Kashmir will vote on the remaining 52% seats.
🍁 Critics say that when the delimitation has been postponed across the country till 2026, why is a separate provision being made for Jammu and Kashmir.
🍁 Many critics and political parties are calling it politically motivated.
🍁 Many people say that such a process can further increase the division between Jammu and Kashmir.
Although it has been made clear by the government that the delimitation was arranged under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019, so that the democratic process can be restored again.
The Delimitation Commission has looked at the democratic process of Jammu and Kashmir from a broader perspective and also tried to give representation to those communities which were marginalized till now due to Article 370. Such as tribal communities, communities oppressed and displaced by terrorism and separatism in Kashmir. At the same time, it is also important to recommend by the commission that people who came to India displaced from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir should be nominated.
Because through this, India can show the atrocities being done by Pakistan in Kashmir in front of the world and can also raise the issue of rights of the citizens there.
Thus the recommendations of the Delimitation Commission are very important. Further, there is a need to ensure fair and peaceful elections by the Central Government and the Election Commission after building trust and dialogue among all the political parties, participants and citizens of Jammu and Kashmir so that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have a copy of the Constitution and democratic values of the country and Have faith strong.