Delimitation Panel Arrives In Kashmir

Srinagar-  The five-member Delimitation panel arrived in Srinagar on Tuesday as part of its four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir.

The panel led by (Retd) Justice Ranjana Desai arrived Srinagar this afternoon.

The panel is on a four-day visit to J&K and it will meet different political parties and District Election Officers of 20 districts.

The panel soon after arriving in Srinagar, drove to Hotel Lalit here where it will meet different political groups today

Barring the PDP, all the major political parties in Kashmir will meet the visiting Delimitation Commission which will arrive here on Tuesday to gather first-hand inputs to carve out new constituencies in the union territory.

The People's Democratic Party (PDP) led by former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has decided to stay away from the delimitation process, saying the body lacks "constitutional and legal mandate" and is part of the overall process of political disempowerment of people of Jammu and Kashmir.

In a two-page letter written to Ranjana Desai, a retired supreme court judge heading the panel, general secretary of the party Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura said the PDP has decided to not be part of "some exercise, the outcome which is widely believed to be pre-planned and which may further hurt the interests of our people".

...Our party has decided to stay away from this process and not be part of some exercise, the outcome which is widely believed to be pre-planned and which may further hurt the interests of our people, Hanjura said in the letter.

However, other parties have decided to meet with the visiting delegation and have nominated their representatives.

The National Conference (NC) has nominated a five-member delegation to meet the commission and put forward its suggestions, a party leader said.

The party has nominated Abdul Raheem Rather, Mohammad Shafi Uri, Mian Altaf Ahmad, Nasir Aslam Wani and Sakina Ittoo to meet the commission, he said.

The Congress party's delegation will comprise of six members and include its Jammu and Kashmir unit president G A Mir, Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed, Taj Mohiuddin, Bashir Ahmad Magrey, Surinder Singh Channi and Vinod Koul, a party leader said.

From the Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference led by Sajad Lone, four members will meet the delegation which includes Bashir Ahmad Dar, Mansoor Hussain Soharwardy, Mohammad Khurshid Alam and Mohammad Ashraf Mir.

The Jammu and Kashmir Apni party led by former finance minister Altaf Bukhari has nominated Ghulam Hassan Mir, Zaffar lqbal Manhas, Usman Majid, Rafi Ahmad Mir and Mohammad Ashraf Mir.

The National Panthers Party has chosen Syed Masood Andrabi, Manzoor Ahmad Naik, Hakikat Singh Jamwal, Farooq Ahmad Dar and Hakeem Arif Ali as their representatives to meet the commission.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has nominated Sofi Yusuf, G M Mir, Surinder Ambardar and Altaf Thakur as its representatives.

The other parties which are going to meet the commission include Bahujan Samaj Party, Jammu Kashmir Peoples Movement, Awami National Conference, the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India-Marxist.

However, senior CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami is not part of the party's delegation.

The commission has also called district bodies of various political parties to interact with them.

Some district presidents and representatives of district bodies of the parties including from the NC, Congress, BJP and Apni Party will meet the visiting delegation.  (With PTI Inputs)

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