Sunday, August 14, 2022

A bid to disenfranchise Valley or a power balance? Delimitation report for J&K sparks controversy

In its much-anticipated report delivered to the Narendra Modi administration on Thursday, the Jammu and Kashmir Delimitation Commission added six extra assembly seats for the Jammu region and one for Kashmir.

The report clears the way for an election in Jammu and Kashmir, where there has been no chief minister since 2018.

According to the study, the total number of seats in Jammu and Kashmir will increase from 37 to 43, and from 46 to 47. Additionally, all five parliamentary constituencies will have an equal number of assembly constituencies for the first time (18 each).

The report also suggested that Kashmiri migrants and displaced persons from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir be represented in the assembly.

Political groups in Kashmir have condemned the report, calling it “unconstitutional” and “a nefarious conspiracy to disempower and disenfranchise the people of the Valley,” while politicians in Jammu have welcomed it, calling it a way to restore “regional power balance.”

Politicians in the Valley have also claimed that the delimitation is an attempt to strengthen J&K’s “Hindu footprint,” an assertion that Jammu leaders have dismissed as unfounded because Kashmir will still have more seats than Jammu.

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