Aerial view of closely adjacent houses in Srinagar
File Photo | Aerial view of closely adjacent houses in Srinagar

SRINAGAR — The Delimitation Commission constituted by the Government of India to redraw the Jammu & Kashmir’s electoral map has proposed massive changes in the boundaries of five Lok Sabha seats of the Union Territory.

In its proposal, which it shared with five MPs from J&K, the panel headed by former Supreme Court judge, Justice (retd.) Ranjana Desai has proposed a trans-Pir Panchal Lok Sabha segment spread over Anantnag, Kulgam and Shopian districts of Kashmir province and Rajouri and Poonch districts of Jammu province.

The seat christened as Anantnag-Rajouri segment is spread over 11 Assembly segments of Kashmir province and seven segments of Jammu province.

The seat is spread over Zainapora, D.H. Pora, Kulgam, Devsar, Dooru, Lernoo (ST), Anantnag West, Anantnag, Bijbhera, Anantnag East, Pahalgam, Nowshera, Rajouri (ST), Darhal (ST), Thana Mandi (ST), Surankote (ST), Poonch Haveli (ST) and Mendhar (ST).

According to the proposal, all segments of Pulwama district and one seat of Shopian have been added to Srinagar Lok Sabha seat.

With these additions, the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat comprises of Kangan (ST), Ganderbal, Hazratbal, Khanyar, south Srinagar, Sonawar, Chanapora, Zoonimar, Eidgah, central Shalteng, Khansahib, Charar-i-Sharif, Chadoora, Pampore, Tral, Pulwama, Rajpora and Shopian constituencies.

Two segments of Budgam district have also been added to Baramulla Lok Sabha seat.

As per the proposal, the Baramulla Lok Sabha segment comprises of Karnah, Trehgam, Kupwara, Lolab, Handwara, Langate, Sopore, Rohama Rafiabad, Uri, Baramulla, Tangmarg, Kunzer, Pattan, Sonawari, Bandipora, Gurez (ST), Budgam and Beerwah.

As per the draft proposal, Udhampur Lok Sabha seat comprises of Mughalmaidan, Kishtwar, Padder, Bhaderwah, Doda, Doda West, Ramban, Banihal, Udhampur West, Udhampur East, Chenani, Ramnagar (SC), Bani, Billawar, Basholi, Kathua North, Kathua South (SC) and Hira Nagar Assembly seats.

The new Jammu Lok Sabha seat is now comprised of Mahore, Reasi, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, Ramgarh, Samba, Vijaypur, Bishnah, RS Pura, Jammu south, Bahu, Jammu East, Balwal-Nagrota, Jammu West, Jammu North, Marh, Akhnoor, Khour and Kalkote-Sunderbani.

Gurez, Kangan, Larnoo seats to be reserved for STs in Kashmir

The Delimitation Commission constituted by the Government of India to redraw J&K’s electoral map has proposed to reserve three seats for scheduled tribes in Kashmir.

According to the proposal, the commission has proposed to reserve Gurez, Kangan and Larnoo seats in Kashmir province.

In Jammu province, the panel has proposed to reserve Darhal, Thana Mandi, Surankote, Poonch Haveli, Mendhar and Mahore seats for STs.

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NC, PDP rejects Interim Delimitation Report

National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party on Saturday rejected the second draft report by Delimitation Commission which was circulated among its associate members.

“JKNC summarily REJECTS draft working paper made available by Delimitation Commission to associate members on February 4th, 2022,” NC said in a tweet.

Rejecting the interim report by the Delimitation Commission, Peoples Democratic Party on Saturday said that the Commission instead of a constitutional body has proved itself to be a frontal organization of ruling Bhartiya Janta Party.

“From the media reports regarding the interim recommendations of the commission, it was clear that the sole objective of the body was to ensure backdoor entry of BJP and its shadow organizations to the Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir,” an official spokesman of the party said in a statement to GNS, adding that the apprehensions about the entire exercise expressed by the party have come true.

“PDP believes that the entire exercise of the delimitation is a part of a major ploy to disempower people of Jammu and Kashmir by division of secular and majority votes. It is unfortunate that all the constitutional apparatus was being put into action in order to achieve this sinister design of BJP,” it said.

He said that the party ruling the country has taken every step to disempower the people of Jammu and Kashmir and delimitation was yet another exercise in furtherance of these designs.

The PDP spokesperson said that the party has been from the beginning apprehensive of such an outcome and the interim report only strengthens such belief. “The fascist and communal forces with the support of their shadow organizations are eyeing on gaining power by all means and in the process, the erstwhile state has been plunged into chaos,” he said.

He said that the delimitation for Jammu and Kashmir was taken contrary to the set principles of such a process for the rest of the country, where the exercise is to be undertaken in 2026. “Even when the basic law, The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, was under challenge in Supreme Court, the Union government hastened to initiate the process in order to give legal backing to its unconstitutional decision to abrogate Article 370.”

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“To ensure the success of BJP and its shadow organizations, the commission has thrown everything upside down. The redrawing of constitutional boundaries has been done without taking into consideration the ground situations and areas have been divided solely on the principles of division,” he said.

The PDP spokesperson added that though the party is not part of the process and has been objecting to the exercise, it will discuss the report within the party forum to chalk out the future strategy.

Criticism of delimitation draft uncalled for: BJP

Jammu and Kashmir unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday welcomed the draft of the Delimitation Commission and said that criticism of its draft is uncalled for.

Reacting to the allegations of Kashmir-based political parties, who termed the draft as anti-Kashmir, BJP UT President Ravinder Raina said that the delimitation commission is an autonomous body. “There is no political interference in the working of the delimitation commission. How can one imagine any interference when there is so much transparency,” Raina said.

Justifying the draft, Raina said that it is a realignment of Assembly constituencies to rectify the old process and to redesign the old house after J&K got seven new seats.

“I don’t think that National Conference people have read the report in detail, I got the opportunity to go through it in detail and I find it very acceptable,” Raina said while replying to the opposition of NC in the draft.

“In the proposed draft, several constituencies were added and redesigned for the welfare of people. Jammu city got four constituencies vis-à-vis Jammu East, Jammu West, Jammu South and Jammu North while the border area got separate Assembly constituencies,” he said.

“There is a separate constituency on the name of Mata Vaishno Devi in Reasi district, Rajouri district got new constituency Thanamand, Kishtwar got Padder. Kathua and Udhampur constituencies were bifurcated into two seats each. Similarly in Kashmir, many uncovered areas have got constituencies. Criticizing the draft is really unfortunate,” he said.

Raina further said that seven constituencies were reserved for the Schedule Cast community including Kathua South, Bishnah, Ramghar, Marh, R S Pura, Akhnoor and Ramnagar and nine for Schedule Tribe which includes Thanamandi, Larnoo, Dhral, Surnakot, Poonch, Mendhar, Mahore, Kangan and Gurez.

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