Delimitation Exercise Being Done In Unconstitutional Manner: PAGD

KO Photo By Abid Bhat

Srinagar- The People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Saturday said they were not against the delimitation process but the ongoing exercise in Jammu and Kashmir was "unconstitutional" as it was being done under J&K Reorganisation Act which has been challenged in the Supreme Court.

The PAGD - comprising five mainstream political parties of Jammu and Kashmir- met here at the residence of the amalgam's chief and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah to discuss the fallout of the draft recommendations of the Delimitation Commission.

PAGD spokesman M Y Tarigami said all the constituents were present during the discussion held on various important issues including the draft proposals of the Commission.

He said they were not against the delimitation exercise as it was due in 2026.

But, the ongoing exercise is being done under Reorganisation Act which is under challenge, he said.

"PAGD is steadfast in its stand that the present delimitation exercise is being done under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act which has been challenged in the Supreme Court by the constituent of the alliance.

"Our stand is that what happened on August 5 and 6, 2019 in Parliament was unconstitutional," Tarigami said referring to abrogation of Article 370 and the reorganisation of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State into two Union territories.

He also questioned the recommendations of the Delimitation Commission. Most of the parties in Jammu and Kashmir have criticised the Commission's draft report.

"'Even the basic parameter in delimitation -- population -- has not been given due consideration. How did they come to the conclusion of increasing seven seats? Why not six, eight or nine?" he asked.

He alleged that even accessibility and geographical proximity - the other criteria in the delimitation process - were ignored.

The Delimitation Commission in its draft report has proposed major changes in Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the Kashmir Valley.

Tarigami said the decisions taken with regard to Jammu and Kashmir in 2019 were justified by the Centre on the grounds that they will bring development and prosperity to the region.

"What is Naya Kashmir? The foundation of Naya Kashmir was laid by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah which ended the feudal system and land tillers became landowners.

"Jammu and Kashmir was the first and only state to make education free up to university level," Tarigami said.

Tarigami urged the people of the country to make effort to understand the "suffering" of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

"What happened on August 5 (2019) was an imposed decision. The silence of people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh should not be taken as acceptance of this decision," he added.

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