SRINAGAR – Former Union minister Saifuddin Soz on Tuesday said the Centre should undertake the delimitation exercise in Jammu and Kashmir only after the Union Territory elects a legislative assembly to prevent arbitrary distribution of seats.
The Congress leader”s remarks came a day after Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora named Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra as his nominee for the proposed Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir.
“The Union Home Ministry has prioritized to Institute Jammu and Kashmir Delimitation Commission. This is on expected lines” Soz said in a statement, adding “Soon after the Parliament had passed the J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019 on 9th August, 2019, I had imagined that ‘Kashmir Centric’ events would follow, one after the other”.
“I want to remind the people that the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir which forbade Delimitation till 2031 is no longer in existence. The Delimitation Commission has to increase the number of seats in the Union Territory of J&K by 7 seats. The implication lies in the distribution of seats between Jammu and Kashmir”, he said.
Congress leader said, since there is no democratic forum in existence, at the moment, the distribution of seven seats could carry an element of arbitrariness, also.
“In my opinion, the best course available to Union Home Ministry is to wait for a democratically elected Legislative Assembly, where the subject will be discussed to be followed by the decision. Otherwise, the system can suffer considerable tension”, he said.
Soz expressed hope that two senior politicians, Muzaffar Hussain Baig and Syed Altaf Bukhari, who he disclosed were going to Delhi with their own schedule of work, meet PM and HM and discuss the question of Delimitation with them on priority.