Srinagar: The Delimitation Commission on Tuesday arrived here on a four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir to meet Deputy Commissioners (DCs), political parties and other stakeholders to gather ‘first-hand information on the process of redrawing Assembly constituencies in the Jammu and Kahsmir’.
Official sources said that the Delimitation Commission arrived here on Tuesday afternoon. The commission comprises of Justice (Retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra and Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhushan.
They said that the Commission is scheduled to meet political parties, State Election Commission (SEC) officials, Deputy Commissioners, leaders of different political parties, members of District Development Council (DDC) and civil society groups to get ‘first-hand information on the process of redrawing Assembly constituencies’.
J&K’s Chief Electoral Officer has invited political parties, including NC, Apni Party, Peoples Conference, Congress, Awami National Conference (ANC), CPI(M), BJP and National Panthers Party (NPP) to interact with the Commission.
Senior CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami told UNI that a five member team of Communist Party of India (M) will meet Delimitation Commission.
A day before the Commission’s visit to J&K, Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Monday asserted that Assembly election should be held after full restoration of statehood to J&K.
Expressing disappointment over the outcome of the All Party Meeting (APM) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi last month, the PAGD said that it has decided to reach out to other political parties in J&K with a view to take a common position on the issue of the restoration of statehood before holding Assembly polls.
It would be the Commission’s first visit to J&K after it was formed in March last year to carve out more Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in the Union Territory after the scrapping of Article 370 and Article 35A, besides bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two UTs. The visit of the commission to J&K comes about two weeks after 14 political leaders from J&K participated in an All Party Meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month in New Delhi.
Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday said that the Assembly elections will be held soon after the Delimitation process is completed in J&K. However, the PAGD leaders are demanding that the delimitation process should be followed by restoration of statehood and then only Assembly election should be held.
Currently, J&K has 83 Assembly seats – 47 in Kashmir and 36 in Jammu. Once the delimitation process is completed, the Assembly seals will increase to 90.