NC calls for stay on delimitation exercise in J-K

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Srinagar: National Conference (NC) on Friday submitted its response to the draft proposals of the Delimitation Commission, calling for the exercise to be put on hold in view of the legal challenge to the Centre’s August 5, 2019 decisions, reported news agency PTI.

The response of the three NC MPs to the Commission’s proposals was submitted on Friday, NC MP Hasnain Masoodi told PTI.

Masoodi said the party’s basic premise is that the exercise offends constitutional morality, constitutional propriety, and the constitutional values as much as the Reorganisation Act under which it is being brought.

The Act itself faces challenge before the Supreme Court. It is under judicial scrutiny. The Supreme Court is examining whether it is constitutional. We call it constitutionally suspect law, he said.

In a democratic polity, every limb, out of deference, has to wait for the outcome of the judicial proceedings in such a case, he added.

The NC MP from south Kashmir’s Anantnag said the population of constituency is universally accepted as the core criterion to effect any delimitation, and this criterion cannot be pushed to the backseat.

The population as a criterion is being ignored. The considerations that are peripheral in nature, of peripheral importance, though are to be considered, cannot downplay the population as a criterion.

In this case, the core criterion is not being followed in the proposals that have been put forth by the commission, Masoodi said.

He said while the commission has not provided any background as to how they came to the conclusion, the figures from 2011 Census will lead to different conclusion as regards to distribution of the seats.

He said the parameters considered for the delimitation have been selectively applied and even they have not been shared with the shareholders.

He said J-K was being unjustifiably singled out while in the rest of the country, the exercise is to be undertaken only after the year 2026.

In Assam, elections were held and even though the delimitation commission was notified, no delimitation exercise was undertaken. So there is no reason to single out J-K.

Seats were increased in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana without the delimitation and they went ahead with the elections, he said.

The draft proposals shared by the delimitation commission with MPs from Jammu and Kashmir on December 20 has triggered a controversy, as out of seven new seats, six have been allocated to Jammu and only one to Kashmir.

The commission has proposed to reserve seven seats for the SCs and nine seats for the STs in the 90-member Assembly.

The proposals have been opposed by the mainstream political parties in the valley.

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