Delimitation Panel Begins Meet With J&K Parties

Leaders of different political parties arrive to meet with members of Delimitation Commission in Srinagar on Tuesday | KO Photo by Abid Bhat

New Delhi: On day one of the four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, the Delimitation Commission on Tuesday started its meeting with the leaders of different political parties of the erstwhile state to gather first hand information and input related to the ongoing process of delimitation, as mandated under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.

The meeting started at 3.30 p.m. with representatives from Bahujan Samaj Party including its leaders Mushtaq Ahmad, Sunia Koul (BDC member), and District Presidents Manzoor Ahmad Thokar and Abdul Rashid Dar. The meeting ended with BSP party leaders at 3.50 p.m.

The Commission's meeting with BJP's Sofi Yusif (Ex-MLC), G.M. Mir, Surinder Ambardar and Altaf Thakur took place between 3.50 p.m. and 4.10 p.m.

Communist Party of India's G.M. Mirza along with members of state council, Bashir Ahmad and Manzoor Ahmad Daikoo had a meeting with the commission for around 20 minutes till 4.30 pm.

The Commission further met with CPI-M leaders -- Gh. Nabi Malik, Ramesh Kumar Bhat, Ab Rashid Pandit, Mohammad Subhan and Wahi Sultan Dar between 4.30 pm to 4.50 pm.

Six Congress leaders including G.A. Mir (President), Peerzada Mohamad Sayeed, Taj Mohi-u-Din, Bashir Ahmad Magrey, Surinder Singh Channi (General Secretary) and senior leader Vinod Koul met with the commission later.

From the National Conference, Abdul Rahim Rather, Mohammad Shafi, Mian Altaf Ahmad, Nasir Aslam Wani and Sakina Ittoo later met with the commission till 5.30 pm.

National Panthers Party members Syed Masood Andrabi, Manzoor Ahmad Naik, Hakikat Singh Jamwal, Farooq Ahmad Dar and Hakeem Arif Ali will later meet with the commission.

Besides, four members of J&K People's Conference and five members of J&K Apni Party will also subsequently meet with the commission as per the prescribed 20-minute slot for each party.

This is the first visit of the three-member Delimitation Commission headed by Chairperson, Justice (Retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai and its ex-officio members Sushil Chandra (Election Commissioner) and K.K. Sharma (State Election Commissioner, J&K).

All the commission members reached Srinagar in the morning on Tuesday.

In its four-day visit to the erstwhile state till July 9, the commission will also meet public representatives and Union Territory administration officials, including District Election Officers or Deputy Commissioners of 20 districts in order to complete the delimitation process of Assembly seats so that elections can be held in the UT.

The commission will have detailed interaction with deputy commissioners of Kashmir division at Pahalgam and Srinagar on July 7 and those of Jammu division at Kishtwar and Jammu on July 8 and 9.

Since the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) was not able to take a joint stand on meeting the commission or otherwise, it was decided that since the invitation from the commission was to individual parties, each constituent of PAGD would take its own decision.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) headed by Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday said it has decided not to be a part of the ongoing delimitation process in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Delimitation Commission was constituted in March 2020 and its term was extended by another year in March 2021 in view of the ongoing pandemic.

The commission also has five Associate members nominated by the Lok Sabha Speaker comprising Union Minister Jitendra Singh, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Jugal Kishore Sharma, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference leaders Farooq Abdullah, Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi.

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