> Finalises 43 assembly seats for Jammu, 47 for Kashmir
>Anantnag merged with Rajouri as a single Lok-Sabha seat
New Delhi: Jammu region will now have 43 assembly seats against 37 earlier, while Kashmir region will have 47, as against 46.
Entire Jammu and Kashmir will have five Lok Sabha constituencies, with Anantnag in Kashmir being merged with Rajouri which is in Jammu, according to the final report of the delimitation commission.
The commission also recommended nominating two members from the community of Kashmiri Migrants with voting rights in the assembly. Nomination of representatives from displaced persons from PoK was also suggested.
After over two years of marathon discussions, consultations with political parties, and public meetings, a notification was issued on Thursday which said the Delimitation Commission has finalized 90 Assembly Constituencies for the Union Territory for elections to the Legislative Assembly. It said the 24 seats in the PoK were kept as it is.
For the first time, nine seats will be reserved for Scheduled Tribes, out of which, six are in Jammu region and three in the Valley. The reservations were worked out on the basis of the 2011 Census. All five parliamentary constituencies will have an equal number of assembly constituencies for the first time as well, the report said.
Erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State did not provide for reservation of seats for the Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assembly.
The commission also recommended to the Central Government to make provision for at least two members, including one female, from the community of Kashmiri Migrants in the Legislative Assembly, and also to provide them voting rights.
“Such members may be given power at par with the power of nominated members of the Legislative Assembly of Union Territory of Puducherry,” the report said.
It also recommended representation from displaced persons from PoK in the Legislative Assembly through representatives of the displaced persons.
The report said Jammu and Kashmir have been treated as a single entity for the purpose of delimitation.
“The Delimitation Commission has seen the Jammu & Kashmir region as one single Union Territory. Therefore, one of the Parliamentary Constituencies has been carved out combining Anantnag region in the Valley and Rajouri & Poonch of Jammu region. By this reorganisation each Parliamentary Constituency will have an equal number of 18 Assembly Constituencies each.
The five Lok Sabha constituencies are: Baramulla, Srinagar, Anantnag-Rajouri, Udhampur and Jammu. Earlier, the Lok Sabha constituencies were – Anantnag, Baramulla, Jammu, Srinagar, and Udhampur, as well as Ladakh which is now a separate Union Territory.
There were earlier 83 seats in Jammu and Kashmir after Ladakh was carved out. Jammu region had 37 seats and Kashmir 46.
The panel said names of some assembly constituencies have also been changed keeping in view the demand of local representatives.
The panel in a statement said they divided the 20 districts of the UT in three broad categories – districts having predominantly hilly and difficult areas, districts with hill and flat areas and districts with predominantly flat areas.
The Commission has also, for some districts, proposed carving out an additional constituency to balance the representation for geographical areas having inadequate communication and lack of public conveniences due to their excessive remoteness or inhospitable conditions on the international border.
It was ensured by the Commission that every Assembly Constituency shall be contained entirely in one district.
Formed in March 2020, the Delimitation Panel was granted a one-year extension last year. In February, it was again given a two-month extension. Its term was to end on Friday.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said more than once in Parliament that elections would be held in J&K after the delimitation is done.