Congress delegation meets Delimitation Commission, assures it of full cooperation

Srinagar, July 06 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the leaders of Indian National Congress J&K chapter on Tuesday met Delimitation Commission and submitted detailed memorandum.

Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) President Ghulam Ahmad Mir led six member party delegation and had discussion with the Commission on wide range of issues. Former JKPCC President Peerzada Mohd Sayeed, Senior Party Leader Bashir Ahmad Magrey, JKPCC General Secretary Surinder Singh Channi, and senior leader, Vinod Koul, were part of the delegation.

The memorandum submitted to the Delimitation Commission reads that in the All-Party Meeting dated 24th June, 2021, Indian Prime Minister and Home Minister had assured of adopting a transparent method by the Delimitation Commission right from the State level to the Constituency level. We accept this assurance in the spirit of restoration and strengthening of democratic structures in Jammu & Kashmir, it said.

The memorandum said that restoration of Statehood for Jammu & Kashmir is a sine qua non for conducting the Delimitation process. It said until the full Statehood for Jammu & Kashmir is restored, there would be no meaning for the Delimitation Commission to undertake any exercise. It said unfortunately, the meeting called by the Indian Prime Minister gave no concrete assurance in this regard. “This is an essential confidence building measure imperative for restoration of the democratic process in Jammu & Kashmir. May, we at INC point out that until the restoration of Statehood for J&K, as demanded in the CWC Resolution of 6th August 2019, is completed; the delimitation process commencement will be rendered nugatory,” the memorandum reads.

Congress party also told the Commission in the memorandum that the initiation of political and democratic dialogue in Jammu & Kashmir must begin with restoration of civil liberties of political parties and people.

The memorandum said the unlawful detention of political leaders and their incarceration for long period without any charges is itself an anathema to the founding principles of democracy under our Constitution. It said, the Indian government must initiate an exercise for undoing the shackles on democratic exercise of rights and end the incarceration of political leadership as a step towards strengthening of grassroot democracy in Jammu & Kashmir. Only then will the delimitation exercise shall have some meaning, it said.

The memorandum said, the aspiration of people of Ladakh to determine their democratic foundations must be severely respected.

“People of Jammu and Kashmir have grave apprehensions of preconceived political prejudice governing the Commission’s final recommendations with a view to give unfair and undue advantage to a particular political party and to the exclusion of democratic rights of the people for a just and amicable delimitation process and particularly to put the mainstream political parties in a disadvantageous position on account of innate unfairness,” it reads.

The memorandum further reads that it is, as such, incumbent upon the Delimitation Commission, which is a Constitutional body, to stand by the test of equity, equality, fairness and transparency as per the mandate given to it by the Parliament of India and to conduct the delimitation exercise with utmost integrity, in accordance with the established and time-tested principles and without a shade of bias and unfairness towards the ruling party at the Centre.

“Finally, as per the established procedure and precedents, we expect that the draft recommendations of the Commission would be shared with all the political parties for inviting their objections/suggestions with adequate notice and material. The Commission must, then, proceed to grant a fair hearing to INC and other political parties with an open and judicious mind before finalizing the recommendations, besides the draft recommendations should also be accessible to members of the public so that anyone can give their suggestions in the interest of strengthening the democratic structures,” the party demanded in the memorandum.

INC assures the Commission of its cooperation with a view to restore full Statehood for Jammu & Kashmir, the memorandum concluded.