January 4, 2022 8:47:47 pm
Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh Tuesday accused the Delimitation Commission of having succumbed to the dictates of the BJP in its recommendations for re-adjustment of territorial boundaries of Assembly constituencies.
Addressing a public meeting in Udhampur, Singh said: “The new constituencies have been drawn up in the BJP office, with the Delimitation Commission merely acting as a rubber stamp.” The political expediency of the saffron party was the prime consideration for the commission rather than convenience of the public, he said.
In its draft report, the Delimitation Commission has proposed six additional seats for Jammu region and one for Kashmir. While political parties in Kashmir have criticised the commission for favouring Jammu, and hence the BJP, in Jammu region too, there is some discontent.
The NPP’s main concern is over the three Assembly seats in Udhampur district. While the draft report is not public, the commission is believed to have proposed one additional constituency each in Kathua, Samba, Rajouri, Reasi, Doda and Kishtwar districts, besides an additional seat in Kashmir’s Kupwara district. The new Assembly constituency in Reasi district, which already has three seats — Reasi, Gulabgarh and Gool-Arnas – would be reportedly carved out by including areas from both Reasi and adjoining Udhampur district.
The NPP has a strong base in Udhampur and Chenani Assembly constituencies that are part of Udhampur district, apart from Ramnagar. Accusing the delimitation panel of ignoring the demand of the backward Pancheri, Mongri and Lander areas in Udhampur district for a new Assembly constituency, Singh said: “While the BJP interfered in the working of the Delimitation Commission in all the constituencies, it in a way usurped its domain so far as district Udhampur is concerned… (It has been done) only to checkmate the Panthers Party, which has become a powerful force in the district.”
Rubbishing the NPP’s claims, BJP chief spokesperson Sunil Sethi said the Delimitation Commission worked on the basis of set criteria, and not to favour a party, and that the BJP too will be badly hit in some places. Sethi also accused the NPP of acting “at the behest of political parties of Kashmir”, as long as it suited its politics.
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