JAMMU, Apr 25: The Delimitation Commission is in final stage of submitting its recommendations after settling over 400 objections/suggestions received by it to its draft report published on March 14. The Panel has been assigned the task of delimitation of 90 Assembly constituencies in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Official sources told the Excelsior that the Commission headed by Justice (Retired) Ranjana Prakash Desai and comprising Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra and State Election Commissioner (SEC) KK Sharma is giving final touch to over 400 objections/suggestions received by it from March 14-21 after putting draft report in public domain followed by its two-day visit to both Jammu and Kashmir divisions on April 4 and 5.
The objections/suggestions were given by major political parties, social organizations and individuals pertaining to both Parliamentary and Assembly constituencies.
There were indications that the Delimitation Commission might accept some objections/suggestion received by it from political parties, organizations and individuals just it had done in the case of five Associate Members, whose some of the complaints were entertained.
The Associate Members of the Commission were Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh and Jugal Kishore, both BJP Lok Sabha members from Jammu division and Dr Farooq Abdullah, Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi, all three NC MPs from Kashmir. The Commission had also carried joint dissent note of the NC MPs and BJP MP Jugal Kishore along with the draft report.
“The Delimitation could submit its final recommendations to the Union Law Ministry anytime now,” sources said, adding the Commission has deadline for submission of report till May 6.
They said the report is expected to come before May 6. In no case, the Panel is going to seek fresh extension in its term as it has completed most of its task, they added.
After accepting/rejecting claims and objections received by it after putting draft report in public domain on March 14, the Commission will submit its final report to the Union Law Ministry which had set up the Panel on March 6, 2020 with one-year term. The Commission’s term was extended by another year on March 6, 2021. In February, it was granted two months extension till May 6, 2022.
Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir can be held only after the Delimitation Commission submits its final report followed by nearly four-month long exercise of summary revision of electoral rolls to be undertaken by the Election Commission.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had some time back stated that Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be held six to eight months after submission of the Delimitation Commission report.
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. (Daily Exclesior)