With No MPs, PDP Says Can’t Be Part Of Delimitation Process

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Srinagar: The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday said it cannot participate in the ongoing delimitation process in Jammu and Kashmir as only elected representatives can take part in it and the party has none at present.

Addressing a press conference here, chief PDP spokesperson Suhail Bukhari said the delimitation commission has been designed in a way that only elected representatives can be part of the exercise.

Bukhari was asked about the stand of his party as well as that of the Peoples” Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) — of which the PDP as well as the NC are constituents — over the issue.

“I cannot say anything on behalf of the alliance. However, as far as the PDP is concerned, I want to tell you one thing that it is not about the alliance taking part in it or not. It is the decision of the individual parties of the alliance,” he said.

The PDP cannot participate in the proceedings of the commissions as the party has no members in Parliament or in the legislative assembly, he said.

“The way the commission has been designed, only elected representatives are part of the exercise. The PDP as of now has no MP or legislator, so we cannot participate in the process,” he said.

“As far as the NC”s participation is concerned, I think it is that party only that can answer this question,” he said.

While the PDP has no MP in the Lok Sabha, its MPs in the Rajya Sabha have either completed their term or were expelled.

Asked to comment over the remarks of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma that the immigrant Muslims should follow family planning norms for population control, Bukhari said Sarma was not the first person to say something like that.

“We have been hearing many people, especially BJP leaders, say this for some years now. There is no sense in finding any sense in these remarks,” he said.

NC MPs Divided Over Participation

After staying away from the delimitation exercise for over a year, the Members of Parliament from National Conference (NC), are divided over their participation in the process in Jammu and Kashmir with some saying they will participate if invited while others stating that there was no change in party’s stand.

NC MP from South Kashmir, Hassnain Masoodi said that there was no change in the stance and it has not been decided yet whether they will participate in the meeting.

“We are firm to our statements. We are sticking to whatever we have said,” he said, adding that the party has not changed its mind in this regard.

However, party’s another MP from north Kashmir, Muhammad Akbar Lone stated that they have decided to attend the meeting, if they will be invited again.

“The party has not held a meeting so far in this regard. But, we MPs have decided to participate in the meeting in case we will be invited by the commission for the meeting next time,” he said.

Pertinently, the Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir convened its first meeting with Associate Members at its office in New Delhi on February 18, 2021 to discuss delimitation of Assembly constituencies in the Union Territory.

However, the MPs from Kashmir region stayed away from the meetings called by the delimitation commission here, saying that they didn’t receive any any intimation in this regard.  (With inputs from agencies)

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