Jammu: As the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Saturday nominated nodal officers with the Delimitation Commission at the district level for providing timely information to it and receiving representations from stakeholders, the Bharatiya Janata Party's Jammu and Kashmir unit has welcomed the Union government's move to start the process of delimitation
Saying that complete political justice should be the benchmark for the upcoming delimitation exercise, former deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta expected that almost every ethnic group in the Union Territory will gets a voice in the next Assembly after delimitation process.
The former deputy CM also said that the party batted strongly for defreezing eight out of 24 seats in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in the J&K Assembly and urged the Delimitation Commission to forward recommendations to the Centre.
"Interestedly, the same point has been endorsed by the Delimitation Commission while addressing media persons yesterday. We again stick to our demand that out of the 24 seats kept on freeze for PoJK, eight seats should be defreezed so as to ensure representation for those people who were displaced in 1947 from PoJK and are putting up in J&K," the BJP leader said.
He said it is in this viewpoint that the BJP has submitted a detailed memorandum canvassing a roadmap for the Delimitation Commission in J&K.
"More so, it is further made clear that we stick to our stand that population is a parameter and criterion for delimiting of seats but the veracity of 2011 Census is itself under question. The abnormal increase in population in various districts of Kashmir region and lesser enrolment under Aadhar are sufficient indicators of the fact," he said.
The BJP leader claimed there were a larger number of "non-voters" in the population survey of Kashmir unlike in Jammu region.
"We have tried to make a case that in addition to population, other criterion like geography, nature of terrain, facilities of communication should also be considered," he added.
"This is for the first time that we will have political reservation for STs and due representation for SCs should also be properly accommodated in the Delimitation Commission report," the former deputy CM said.
He appealed to all political parties and pressure groups to come forward and ensure that commission does not invite any ire or allegations of any sort of prejudice or bias
Meanwhile, on Friday, the Delimitation Commission headed by Justice (retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai concluded the four-day visit to J-K to gather first-hand inputs on the conduct of the exercise to redraw constituencies and carve out new ones in the UT.
Except for the Peoples Democratic Party and the Awami National Conference, the commission interacted with all political parties and officials concerned during the visit. Justice (retd) Desai has assured the exercise would be transparent and completed by following due process as laid down in the law.
On Saturday, for the smooth functioning of the commission, the General Administration Department of the UT had issued an order which nominated one officer in each of the 20 districts of the union territory for liaisoning with the commission. The order said the nodal officers shall be responsible for assisting the deputy commissioners in providing timely information as may be sought by the commission.
The nodal officers shall receive representations from stakeholders for submission to the commission and shall also be responsible for any other work as may be assigned by the commission, the order read.
The Delimitation Commission was constituted in March 2020 and its term was extended by another year in March 2021 in view of the ongoing pandemic.
The commission has five Associate members nominated by the Lok Sabha Speaker comprising Union Minister Jitendra Singh, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Jugal Kishore Sharma, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference leaders Farooq Abdullah, Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi.