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Constituency distribution; a shortcut to ensure power in Kashmir

Constituency distribution; a shortcut to ensure power in Kashmir

It is not surprising that the recommendations submitted by the Jammu and Kashmir Delimitation Commission have triggered widespread protests in Kashmir. The Modi government, which not only revoked Article 370 of the Constitution of India and took away the special status of the state but also declared Jammu and Kashmir a Union Territory, is implementing a deliberate plan to destroy the historical, social and cultural identity of the people. It is obvious at first glance that the government, knowing full well that this injustice cannot continue for a long time while all other states of India have constitutional status, is redefining these constituencies to ensure that the BJP will be able to rule the state when statehood is finally granted to Jammu and Kashmir.

Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz notes that the Delimitation Commission's claim that the distribution of newly created constituencies was based on the 2011 population ratio is completely wrong. According to the 2011 census, Kashmir had a population of 69,07,623, Jammu of 53,50,811 and Ladakh of 2,90,492. But on the Union Home Ministry's website, Kashmir's population is reduced by 16 lakhs. At the same time, Jammu's population has been hiked to 69,07,623. This was done to pave the way for this bill for redistributing constituencies. Thus, the Delimiting Commission added only one seat to the existing 46 seats in Kashmir while increasing the number of seats in Jammu from 37 to 43. Accordingly, in Jammu, 1,25,082 people will have one constituency while Kashmir will have 1,46,543 per constituency. Apart from this, the Committee has also recommended setting aside 16 seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. It is clear that these conspiracies are aimed at consolidating the BJP's majority and weakening other parties to impose Hindutva rule on Kashmiris. Realizing this, the Gupkar alliance convened a meeting chaired by PDP president Mahbooba Mufti and called for an agitation. CPM leader MY Tarigami, who noted that the recommendation is not acceptable to anyone, also pointed out that this will only serve to further divide Jammu and Kashmir. The constituency distribution move is in line with the 2019 Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act. However, a number of petitions seeking repeal of the Reorganization Act itself are pending before the Supreme Court.

Instead of resolving the Kashmir issue peacefully and satisfactorily for the people of Kashmir, which has been unresolved for three and a half centuries since India's independence, the Hindutva government, which rules the country with a large majority, is only taking steps to fuel the fire. The Modi-Shah duo, who came to power claiming that the rule of the Congress and other secular parties and their wrongful decisions increased separatist and terrorist violence in the state, could never ensure a peaceful night's sleep to Kashmiris. Kashmir has not calmed down despite the deployment of millions of troops in densely populated cities with the liberty to exercise arbitrary powers. Threats from across the border are on the rise. The dream of suppressing the fundamental rights of any people and subjugating them with guns and assassinations will never be realised. How many times in Kashmir have they experimented with shutting down the entire Internet system in the present times when information technology is at the peak of its growth! It is the irrational policy of the government to continue to label those who oppose it as traitors and disloyal instead of taking a sympathetic approach to their just needs and demands. The redistribution of constituencies is only a natural continuation of that move. But the experience so far has shown that such conspiracies cannot conquer the minds of the people of Kashmir, but only make Kashmir worse than ever.

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TAGS:delimitation of constituencies Jammu and Kashmir Hindutva 
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