Delimitation Panel Given 2 More Months To Draw J&K’s Political Map

Members of the J&K Delimitation Commission at a news conference in Jammu | File Photo

Srinagar- The Ministry of Law and Justice on Tuesday granted two-month extension to the Delimitation Commission, tasked to redraw the assembly constituencies of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, to complete the exercise.

In an order issued on Monday, the Union Ministry of Law and Justice has said that in exercise of powers conferred by section 3 of the Delimitation Act 2002 (33 of 2002) the central government hereby makes the further amendment of two months in the notification of government of India in the Ministry of Law and Justice (Legislative department no So-1015(e) dated 6th March 2020.

"In the notification in paragraph two for the words ‘two years’ the words ‘two years and two months’ shall be substituted," reads the order

The term of the panel was coming to an end on March 6 and it needed more time to ready its final report on the delimitation exercise that is being carried out in the entire J&K.

Pertinently the panel had asked the GOI for a two month extension to complete its final report on the delimitation process in J&K.

As per sources aware of the developments, the GOI has asked the panel to complete its work by May this year and share its report. The sources have also said that the panel will share its final report in the first week of May.
Notably, if sources are to be believed then the panel is likely to make its draft public before submitting the final report.

Earlier, the panel had submitted its second draft to associate members who are the three leaders from National Conference and two from Bharatiya Janata Party, in the first week of February and the associate members had filed their objections on February 14 with National Conference members strongly rejecting the report.

However, as per sources, the commission won't be asking the five associate members to give their inputs and objections on the draft as they have already submitted their inputs and objection.

"The associate members have already shared their inputs and objections with the commission. So, that's why the delimitation commission will ask the public and other political parties to give their inputs and objections," sources said.

As per sources, the Delimitation Commission will put its final draft along with the objections of the associate members in public domain and will start to seek objections and opinion from the public and political parties for a specified time, probably in the month of March.

After receiving objections, sources said, the panel will start working on the final report. “It will take upto a month to prepare the final report after all the objections and suggestions from the public and political parties are submitted,” they added.

It is pertinent to mention here that the delimitation is the process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country or a province with a legislative body.

Formed in March 2020, the Delimitation Commission was granted a one-year extension last year.

Headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, it has Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and the state election commissioner of Jammu and Kashmir as its ex-officio members.

In its draft report shared with its five associated members---all Lok Sabha members from Jammu and Kashmir---the delimitation panel has proposed an overhaul of assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies in the erstwhile state.

According to the draft proposals, the Assembly seats in the Jammu division were increased from 37 to 43 and in Kashmir from 46 to 47. Almost all parties expressed strong resentment over the panel’s proposals and rejected it.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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