After showing reluctance for more than a year, regional National Conference may finally participate in future meetings of the Delimitation Commission, set up by the Central government to redraw parliamentary and assembly constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir.
Sources said there is an overwhelming view within the NC that it should associate itself with the Delimitation Commission to project its viewpoint and not leave the space open for the ruling BJP.
The NC’s Central Working Committee (CWC), which held a virtual meeting on Thursday, was also of the same opinion that the party should associate itself with the Commission.
“The party leaders were of the view that dissociation with the Commission will not give the NC a chance to project its viewpoint on delimitation of Assembly constituencies. However, they left the final call to the party president Farooq Abdullah,” they added.
Till now three members of the NC – Farooq Abdullah, Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi (all MPs) – had not accepted their positions as part of the Delimitation Commission since that would be “tantamount to accepting the events of 5th August 2019”—when the special status of the erstwhile state was abrogated.
The NC had boycotted the first meeting of the Commission called by its chairperson Justice (Retired) Ranjana Prakash Desai on February 19 this year.
The Center had on March 6 last year constituted the Commission to redraw Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir and the northeastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland. The term of the Commission was extended by another year in March.
The erstwhile State of J&K had 111 seats including 24 reserved for Pakistan occupied Kashmir while elections were held for 87 seats. 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.
Elections to J&K Assembly will be held only after delimitation of constituencies is completed.