J&K not included within purview of Delimitation act 2002: MoS Home tells LS
Srinagar, Jun 25: The Government of India on Tuesday continued to keep an ambiguity on the possibility of delimitation of Assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir stating that the State was not included within the purview of Delimitation Act 2002.
Soon after the new dispensation at the Centre took the reins of the country after a massive mandate, political grapevine was ripe with the rumours that the Union Home Minister Amit Shah was mulling delimitation of Assembly seats in J&K to undo the regional imbalance in the State.
The political observers, however, attributed the move to the BJP’s plan of installing a Hindu Chief Minister in J&K given the party’s strong position in Jammu and Ladakh regions of the State where they won all three seats in the recently concluded Parliamentary polls.
“Yes, obviously, delimitation is a major attempt to lead the government in J&K. BJP at present is in a state to do it, but how far the party can go, remains to be seen,” a political observer told KNO. Today in the Lok Sabha, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen MP Asaduddin Owaisi raised a question whether Jammu and Kashmir had not been included in the delimitation exercise taken up in the country and whether the government considered to undertake it with a view to remove the regional imbalance in the State.
Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy said in a written response that Jammu and Kashmir was not included within the purview of the Delimitation Act, 2002, as Article 170 of the Constitution of India that deals with delimitation of constituencies of State Assemblies had not been extended to the State.
“Delimitation of legislative Assembly constituencies in J&K is carried out under Section 47 and 141 of the Constitution of J&K,” Reddy said. He said there were 37,33,111 voters in the Jammu division, 40,10,971 in the Kashmir division and 1,79,147 in the Ladakh division. He also said that the Election Commission of India had not fixed the dates for holding the Assembly elections in the State.
In Srinagar, the senior BJP leader and the party’s national vice-president Avinash Rai Khanna told reporters on Monday, that there was no decision by the party high command over the delimitation of Assembly seats. “No consensus had been evolved on this issue, so nothing can be said at this juncture,” he said.(KNO)