In an interview with ANI, Sushil Chandra, a former member of the demarcation committee for Jammu and Kashmir, said that the whole demarcation process was “transparent and participatory”.
The demarcation committee finalized the final demarcation for Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, which has paved the way for parliamentary elections in the union’s territory. The demarcation order enters into force from the date on which it notified the Government.
Chandra said the electoral commission is following its own process of conducting the polls.
“The list of voters will be updated. The electoral commission will consult with the political parties and we will decide on the date of the opinion polls after the debate, “Chandra told ANI.
According to the final demarcation rule, out of 90 parliamentary constituencies, 43 will be part of the Jammu area and 47 of the Kashmir area.
Nine seats have been reserved for the ST (for the first time) – six in the Jammu area and three in the Kashmir valley. Seven seats have been reserved for an organized throw. The constitution of the former Jammu and Kashmir states did not provide for the organization of tribes to reserve seats in the legislature.
All five parliamentary constituencies will receive the same number of seats for the first time. Jammu and Kashmir have been treated as a whole for the purpose of demarcation.
Chandra said one of the parliamentary constituencies had been cut out, merging the Anantnag area in the valley with Rajouri and Poonch in the Jammu area.
With this reorganization, each parliamentary constituency will have as many as 18 parliamentary constituencies each.
“In five parliamentary constituencies, the Resolution Committee has ensured that they all have the same number of parliamentary constituencies. The division is such that in each constituency there are 18 parliamentary constituencies,” he said.
Chandra said the commission ensured that each parliamentary constituency would be entirely in one district and that the lowest administrative units – patwar circles (and divisions of Jammu Municipal Corporation) would not be disrupted and stored in one constituency.
The demarcation committee, chaired by Ranjana Prakash Desai, a former Supreme Court judge, approved most of the comments regarding the name change.
He noted that the expectations of the electorate had been taken into account by the Commission, he said that extensive consultations had been held and the draft was prepared after receiving suggestions from affiliates.
Chandra said the commission had visited Jammu and Kashmir twice. During the first visit, it communicated with approximately 242 delegations at four locations – Srinagar, Pahalgam, Kishtwar and Jammu.
About 1,600 people attended and expressed their views at public meetings held in Jammu and Srinagar on April 4 and 5 this year during the committee’s second visit to the union’s territory.
The Commission has recommended at least two members (one of whom must be female) from the Kashmiri immigrant community to the Legislative Assembly. It said such members could be given the same power as the nominees at the Puducherry ICT Legislative Assembly.
It said the central government could consider nominating Pakistani-occupied Jammu and Kashmir refugees to the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly by nomination.
The Jammu and Kashmir demarcation committee was established in March 2020. The division of Jammu and Kashmir into a federal area, i.e. Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, took place in August 2019.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that elections would be held in Jammu and Kashmir after the demarcation process in the union’s territory was completed.
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