SRINAGAR — The Central government is mulling amending the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Act to reserve three seats in the Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Assembly for Kashmiri migrants and refugees from the Pakistan-occupied Jammu & Kashmir (PoJK).
Sources told the news agency KNO that the Centre is planning to bring ‘The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill 2023’ in Parliament to reserve two seats for Kashmiri migrants and one for refugees from PoJK. These members will be nominated by the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory, they said.
According to sources, the bill states that Jammu & Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor may nominate not more than two members, one of whom shall be a woman, from the community of Kashmiri migrants to the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly.
It further states that LG may nominate one member from displaced persons from Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir to the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly.
The bill is aimed at “preserving political rights of the migrants and refugee communities as well as for their social and economic development.”
It is worthwhile to mention that the delimitation commission is headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice (Retd.) Ranjana Desai had recommended to the Government of India to make a legal provision for the nomination of at least two members (one of them must be female) from the community of Kashmiri Migrants in the Legislative Assembly.
It had also recommended that the government may consider giving some representation to refugees from PoJK in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, by way of nomination of representatives of the displaced persons from PoJK.
Meanwhile, J&K BJP spokesman Altaf Thakur also tweeted, “Stage set for another historic moment: Reorganisation bill to be tabled in the Parliament’s monsoon session: Kashmiri Pandits to get two seats. KPs were forced to leave their homeland and live a miserable life. One seat will be given to PoJK people who rejected two nation theory and stood with the Indian Union. Later J&K LG to nominate three members for KPs and PoJK people in the Parliament. Indeed a great gesture by PM Modi led government.”