A BJP MP’s move to introduce a Private Member’s Bill in Lok Sabha, seeking the creation of five seats in the Lower House for the area falling in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) has been shot down by a parliamentary committee.
The Committee on Private Members’ Bills and Resolutions has decided that BJP MP from Godda (Jharkhand) Nishikant Dubey “may not be permitted to move for leave to introduce” The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2014 (Insertion of new article 370A) in the Lok Sabha.
The Bill seeks to insert a new article, 370A, into the Constitution “with a view to provide for five seats in the House of the People for the territory of State of Jammu and Kashmir under the illegal occupation of Pakistan and keep them vacant until that territory is reunited with the State of Jammu and Kashmir”.
“When as many as 24 seats are reserved in the J&K assembly from the area under Pakistan’s occupation, how can there not be a single Lok Sabha seat from there? India considers J&K as an integral part of its territory. My point is that five seats should be reserved in PoK to assert that we treat it as an integral part of the country,” Dubey told The Indian Express.
Asserting that this “error” had crept in when the Constitution of the country and of J&K were framed, Dubey said that it was time the error was corrected. “As per delimitation, Lok Sabha can have up to 550 members. Currently, it has only 545. These five seats can be accommodated and kept vacant,” he said.
Dubey also acknowledged that the Parliamentary committee had not given any reason behind declining permission to introduce the Bill. “I will bring the Bill again in the next session,” he said.
Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, who heads the Committee on Private Members’ Bills and Resolutions, declined to comment on why permission to introduce the Bill was declined. The matter last came up for discussion during the last few months of the previous UPA government when the Home Ministry, under Sushil Kumar Shinde, spoke of the need to include a provision to allow keeping seats falling in PoK vacant in Lok Sabha.