February 19, 2021 2:12:32 am
Only two of the five associate members from Jammu and Kashmir met with the Delimitation Commission on Thursday to give their views on redrawing assembly and parliamentary seats in the newly carved out Union Territory.
Three MPs from the National Conference — Farooq Abdullah, Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi – who are also associate members skipped the meeting on the ground that the J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019, is currently under judicial scrutiny.
Union Minister Jitendra Singh, who is the MP from Udhampur, and Jugal Kishore Sharma, who represents Jammu, during the meeting urged the Commission to “give special attention to the difficult terrains while carrying out the delimitation exercise” in the UT.
Associate members are lawmakers from their respective states who assist the delimitation panel in redrawing parliamentary and assembly constituencies.
During the meeting, the Commission is said to have presented an overview of the delimitation process in J&K. “The two Associate Members appreciated the Commission’s efforts and suggested that delimitation of Constituencies shall be as far as practicable, be for geographically compact areas and while delimiting them regard shall be given to physical features; existing boundaries of administrative units; facilities of communication and public convenience. They also suggested to give special attention to the difficult terrains while carrying out the delimitation exercise in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” said a press release issued by the Delimitation Commission.
Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra is an ex-officio member of the panel, which is headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai.
E. What this exercise means
Set up last year, the Commission will delimit the constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, and those of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland in accordance with the provisions of the Delimitation Act, 2002.
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