NC declines to participate in J&K delimitation exercise

National Conference declines to participate in delimitation exercise in J&K

Regional National Conference (NC) has declined to be part of the Delimitation Commission set up by the Central government to redraw parliamentary and assembly constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir.

Lok Sabha Speaker, Om Birla had on Thursday (May 28) nominated three NC MPs, Farooq Abdullah, Justice (retd.) Hasnain Masoodi and Mohammad Akbar Lone as associate members of the Commission.

“The @JKNC_ will not participate in the delimitation exercise. Detailed statement to follow soon,” NC chief spokesperson Aga Ruhullah Medhi tweeted.

The government had on March 6 constituted the Commission, to be headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, to redraw Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir and the northeastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland.

A senior NC leader told DH that if the NC would participate in the exercise, it will amount to acceptance of the constitutional changes brought in through J&K Reorganisation Act-2019, which it is currently contesting in the Supreme Court.

Section 60 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act states the number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of J&K shall be increased from 107 to 114. Out of these, 24 seats are reserved for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The erstwhile state of J&K had 87 seats in the assembly and six in Parliament, which got reduced to 83 and five, respectively, after it was bifurcated to make Ladakh a separate UT. So effectively, the seats will go up from 83 to 90 for J&K.

People and politicians in Kashmir view the exercise as a move to tilt the balance of power towards Jammu, by increasing the assembly seats in Jammu. However, in Jammu, it is being regarded as a move correcting Kashmir’s historical ‘dominance’ over Jammu.

 

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