Delimitation in IIOJK a very complex issue, says panel

Jammu, July 09 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the India-appointed Delimitation Commission Friday said that the exercise to re-draw boundaries of Assembly constituencies of the territory is a “very complex issue and not a mere arithmetic.”

The commission, however, said that the process will be completed in a very transparent manner and the draft prepared by it will be put in a public domain for objections and queries after which associate members of the commission will also be consulted for preparing the final draft.

Sushil Chander, Chief Election Commissioner of India, who is the Ex-officio member of J&K Delimitation Commission, addressing a presser in Jammu on the last day of the 4-day visit of the commission, today, said that in the past 4 days, the commission met 290 groups in Srinagar, Pahalgam, Kishtwar and Jammu, adding there was an overwhelming response and people travelled from long distances to meet them and that the commission listened to every delegation patiently. He said that they did not just meet the leaders from the political parties, but civil society groups, lawyers, individuals, tribals, local bodies leaders and heads of NGOs too.

He said that the delimitation will be conducted on the basis of the 2011 census. He maintained that though the population has to be the main criteria for delimitation yet priority will be also the area, geography, topography and also the communication facilities of the areas. He also hinted at giving a due representation to the people belonging to Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste groups in J&K in the newly constituted Assembly.

To a query that PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti has alleged that delimitation was already a pre-planned exercise and the final report was already ready, Commission head Justice (retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai said she assures that the exercise will be transparent in nature and there should be no fears and doubts. Asked how she views the PDP chief’s decision of boycotting the meeting with the commission, the commission chief said: “We can only talk to those who want to participate in the process. Those who don’t want to have their own choice.”

About when would the commission be able to prepare the final report, the Ex officio member of the commission Chander said that they have got the feedback and a draft will be prepared and the same will be put in the public domain. He added, “We will also consult the associate members of the commission to get their views after which a final draft will also be prepared and the same will be put in the public domain too for objections and queries”.

The commission had arrived in Srinagar on July 6 as part of the four-day long visit aimed at meeting various political parties and civil society groups as part of its feedback mission.

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