The delimitation commission, which aims at redrawing the parliamentary and assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir ought to have an internal meeting at the Election Commission office in Delhi today. Justice Ranjana Desai (Retd) and Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra will chair the meeting. Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Electoral Officer along with other officials of the poll panel will attend the meeting as well. The commission needs to finalise its plans after consultations with political parties in the coming days.
The Election Commission has already conducted virtual discussions with its Jammu and Kashmir representatives and deputy commissioners regarding the delimitation of the 90 Assembly constituencies in the Union Territory. The meeting was attended by 20 deputy commissioners from Jammu and Kashmir. During the meeting, they pointed out the administrative difficulties faced by the assembly constituencies. The possible difficulties faced by the voters in assembly constituencies without exact geographical boundaries were also discussed in the meeting.
The meeting was held before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s All-party meeting with leaders from Jammu and Kashmir. The re-starting of political activity in the Union Territory was discussed by the leaders in the All-party meeting.
However, a three-member delimitation commission under retired Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai was set up in March 2020 for a year. The panel got a year extension from the Central government on March 3, 2021. This happened as it failed to complete its task last year.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019 that came on August 9, 2019, paved the way for the creation of two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature and Ladakh, without a legislature. This Act made the number of seats in the legislative assembly of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir increased from 107 to 114. In addition to this, the Election Commission determines the delimitation of the constituencies.
A full meeting of the commission including the Lok Sabha MPs from Jammu and Kashmir is likely to take place over the coming days. The date of such a meeting might be decided today.