Srinagar: Announcing to boycott the Delimitation Commission set up to gather first-hand inputs to carve out new Assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday said the whole exercise was unconstitutional besides a preplanned to favour a particular political party.
The Awami National Conference (ANC), second party of Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) after PDP, also announced not to meet the delimitation commission since the case is in the Supreme Court. However, two other PAGD constituents—National Conference (NC) and CPI(M) decided to meet the commission.
The exercise was aimed to further hurt the interests of people of Jammu and Kashmir, PDP General secretary Ghulam Nabi Lone Najoora said in a letter to commission headed by Justice (retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai. The other members of the commission included Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra Sharma and State Election Commissioner (SEC) K KSharma. .
He said on August 5, 2019, the constitutional and democratic values of our country were trampled upon with the people of Jammu and Kashmir being robbed of their legitimate constitutional and democratic rights by means of abrogation of Article 370 and 35 (A) of the Indian constitution, illegally and unconstitutionally.
The commission arrived here on a four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
He said therefore delimitation commission was also unconstitutional. The letter further said the day (August 5) also saw the people of J&K being humiliated and demeaned by downgrading and bifurcation of an almost 200 year old state, an act, with no precedence in the Independent India.
“The Reorganization Act being a product of the same process, we are of the considered opinion that the Delimitation Commission lacks constitutional and legal mandate in the first place and its very existence and objectives have left every ordinary resident of J&K with many questions,” the letter said.
“There are apprehensions that the delimitation exercise is part of the overall process of political disempowerment of the people of J&K that the Government of India has embarked on”, the letter alleged.
Mr Hanjoora further said, “At the very core of these apprehensions is the process through which the commission has been constituted and the fact that while the delimitation process across the country has been put on hold till 2026, J&K has been made an exception. There are apprehensions that the process is aimed at realizing the political vision of a particular political party in J&K wherein, like other things, the views and wishes of the people of J&K would be considered the least.”
PDP stand not to meet commission came under severe criticism by Apni Party (AP) and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti headed a coalition government with BJP in the erstwhile state from 2016 to 2018 before the saffron party withdraw from the alliance resulting in imposition of Governor rule followed by presidents rule and later abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A besides bifurcation of the Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories (UTs).