In J-K, delimitation commission to start deliberations soon as election officer submits data

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After collecting data from Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory, the delimitation commission constituted by the Government of India would soon hold deliberations with associate members.

A local news agency, Kashmir News Observer (KNO), reported quoting highly placed sources that the three-member panel headed by former Supreme Court Judge Justice (retd.) Ranjana Desai would soon start the process of deliberations with associate members to expedite the process.

“The commission is expected to hold meeting with associate members from Jammu and Kashmir,” they said, adding that National Conference has already decided to boycott the process.

The delimitation commission is mandated to fix the boundaries of ninety assembly seats and reserve seats for the Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes. Unnamed sources told KNO that the office of J-K’s Chief Electoral Officer has submitted all data sought by the delimitation panel. “We have submitted details like population data, administrative units, maps of constituencies to the panel,” an official disclosed.

The delimitation commission, which was constituted on 6 March 2020, has time till 5 March 2021.

In a statement issued on 30 May, the NC, whose three Members of Parliament were nominated as associate members of the delimitation commission by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, rejected the process.

“This Delimitation Commission is a product of the J-K Re-organisation Act 2019, which NC is challenging both in and outside the Supreme Court. Participating in this Commission will be tantamount to accepting the events of August 5, 2019, which the NC is unwilling to do,” the party had said.

The Lok Sabha Speaker nominated five MPs — Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Justice (retd.) Hasnain Masoodi and Muhammad Akbar Lone, Jitendra Singh, and Jugal Kishore Sharma — as associate members of the panel.

“The appointment of Justice (Retd.) Ranjana Prakash Desai shall be for a period of one year from the date of the publication of this notification in the Official Gazette or till further orders, whichever is earlier,” read the notification issued by Union Law Ministry—(KNO)

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