Srinagar: The Delimitation Commission of Jammu and Kashmir has signed its final order on the reorganization of assembly seats in the Union Territory. The panel had the task of redrawing the boundaries of the assembly and parliamentary constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir. Today (March 5), he presented the final draft. This means that the much-awaited assembly elections in the Valley may be held soon.
A copy of this order and a report, detailing the number of constituencies and their size, will be submitted to the government, after which the order will be issued through a gazette notification. The Commission has proposed to increase the number of seats in the Union Territory from 83 to 90. In addition, there are 24 seats in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), which are still vacant.
For the first time nine seats have been proposed for Scheduled Tribes. The panel has also proposed six additional seats for Jammu and one for Kashmir. As of now, there are 46 seats in Kashmir division and 37 in Jammu division. Constituted in March 2020, the panel was given an extension of one year last year.
For Jammu and Kashmir, a three-member Delimitation Commission headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai was constituted in March 2020 for a period of one year. Later, the panel got an extension of one year from the central government on March 3, 2021, and later in February this year, another extension of two months. The commission also has Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar, State Election Commissioner (SEC) KK Sharma and Chief Electoral Officer Hridesh Kumar as its ex-officio members.
Delimitation is a process of demarcating the boundaries of parliamentary or assembly constituencies (based on the latest census data), so that all seats cover the population equally and are given fair representation. The delimitation exercise is done after each census. Since it is a politically sensitive process, it is not carried out by the central or state government. Instead, a high empowered body known as the Delimitation Commission is constituted by the Parliament by enacting the Delimitation Act under Article 82 of the Constitution.
first published:May 5, 2022, 3:13 p.m.