The Delimitation Commission headed by Justice (Retired) Ranjana Prakash Desai reached here today on a three-day visit of Jammu and Kashmir to interact with political parties, organizations, members of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and individuals.
The delegation headed by Justice (Retired) Desai includes Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra and Chander Bushan Kumar, Deputy Election Commissioner. They will be joined by State Election Commissioner (SEC) K K Sharma and Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Hridesh Kumar.
The Commission will tomorrow meet large number of delegations at Convention Centre Canal Road in Jammu and will proceed to Kashmir late in the evening where they will have interaction with deputations on April 5 at SKICC Srinagar.
Prominent among those scheduled to meet the Delimitation Commission here include BJP UT president Ravinder Raina, Congress leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president SR Majotra, former MLA and BJP leader Rajeev Sharma, Taranjit Singh Tony, Member District Development Council (DDC), Surjit Singh from All J&K PoJK 1947 Sharnarthi Intellectual Forum, Madan Lal Dabgotra, Chairman West Pakistani Hindu Refugees Front, Yashbir Singh Manhas, chairman International Border People Welfare Forum and a number of representatives from the Panchayati Raj Institutions.
The Commission is scheduled to return to New Delhi from Srinagar in the evening of April 5.
The Commission had invited claims and suggestions from all political parties, organizations and individuals from March 14-21 after putting draft report in public domain.
The Commission received a total of 408 suggestions/objections which were in addition to those already received from five Associate Members including Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh and Jugal Kishore Sharma, both BJP MPs from Jammu division and Dr Farooq Abdullah, Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi, all three NC MPs from Kashmir.
The Commission has its term till May 6 and there it is likely to submit final report within the timeline.
The Panel was set up on May 6, 2020 with one-year term which was extended by another year on May 6, 2021. While its term was due to expire on May 6, 2022, it was granted two-month extension to complete the task.
Once the delimitation exercise is completed, the number of Assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir will go up from 83 to 90.
Twenty-four seats of the Assembly continue to remain vacant as they fall under Pakistan-occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK).
While splitting Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories through the Reorganization Act, the Union Home Ministry had increased Assembly seats of Jammu and Kashmir by seven taking total seats to 114—24 of which are reserved for PoJK while election will be held for 90 seats.
Erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir had 111 seats including 24 reserved for PoJK while elections were held for 87 seats. With creation of Ladakh as Union Territory, four seats of the region were reduced and the Assembly was left with 83 seats. However, with increase of seven seats, J&K UT will have an Assembly of 90 seats. Two women MLAs will be nominated to the House, which was the position earlier also.
In the previous Assembly, Kashmir had 46 seats, Jammu 37 and Ladakh four.
Delimitation of the Assembly constituencies was last held in 1994-95 during the President’s Rule when seats of the erstwhile State Assembly were raised from 76 to 87. Jammu region’s seats were increased from 32 to 37, Kashmir’s from 42 to 46 and Ladakh’s two to four.