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Chorus from Valley: Unacceptable… panel pushing BJP’s political agenda

The two other political players from the Valley, Sajad Lone's Peoples Conference and Altaf Bukhari's Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, said the draft recommendations “reek of bias” and “bypassed” their demands of people's representation.

Written by Bashaarat Masood | Srinagar |
Updated: December 21, 2021 12:40:30 am
Dissent as seditionFormer Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti. (Express Photo by Shuaib Masoodi)

The two main parties in the Kashmir Valley, National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have strongly opposed the draft recommendations of the Delimitation Commission, calling them “unacceptable”, and accused the panel of pushing the BJP’s “political agenda”.

The two other political players from the Valley, Sajad Lone’s Peoples Conference and Altaf Bukhari’s Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, said the draft recommendations “reek of bias” and “bypassed” their demands of people’s representation.

“The draft recommendation of the J&K Delimitation Commission is unacceptable,” former chief minister and NC vice president Omar Abdullah said. Three NC MPs — Farooq Abdullah, Hasnain Masoodi and Mohammad Akbar Lone — were among the five associate members who met the Delimitation Commission Monday.

“The distribution of newly created assembly constituencies with six going to Jammu and only one to Kashmir is not justified by the data of the 2011 Census. It is deeply disappointing that the Commission appears to have allowed the political agenda of the BJP to dictate its recommendations rather than the data, which should have been its only consideration. Contrary to the promised scientific approach, it’s a political approach,” Omar Abdullah said.

“My apprehensions about the Delimitation Commission weren’t misplaced,” former chief minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti posted on Twitter.

“They want to pitch people against each other by ignoring the population census and proposing 6 seats for one region and only one for Kashmir. This Commission has been created simply to serve BJP’s political interests by dividing people along religious and regional lines. The real game plan is to install a government in J&K which will legitimise the illegal and unconstitutional decisions of August 2019,” Mufti wrote.

Sajad Lone said the Commission’s draft recommendations are “totally unacceptable”. “They reek of bias. What a shock for those who believe in democracy,” Lone posted on Twitter.

Altaf Bukhari said the draft recommendations cannot be justified as they are not in sync with the Census data of 2011. “The Commission has bypassed the merits and demands of people’s representation in its report,” he said.

“The current proposal stands in total contrast to the process and guidelines mandated by the laws governing delimitation in the country. The district areas and their respective population numbers were to be taken into consideration as per the Census of 2011 which, for some unknown reason, is missing from the report,” Bukhari said.

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