Why delineation is key to state return in Jammu and Kashmir
Here is an overview of what the demarcation means and why it is considered a controversial topic in Jammu and Kashmir.
Representative image. ANI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a meeting with the main political parties of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) highlighted the scope of the restoration of his state following the revocation of the special status of the former Status as of August 5, 2019. But the issue of returning to government is directly linked to the ongoing seat delimitation process in Jammu and Kashmir. Here is an overview of what delineation means and why it is considered a controversial topic in today’s context.
What is delimitation?
According to election officials, delimitation is the process of “setting the boundaries or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country or province with a legislative body.” But as simple as it may sound, delineation has had a disputed history in India. Article 81 of the Indian Constitution stipulates that the seats of Lok Sabha shall be distributed among the different states in such a way that “the ratio between this number and the population of the state is, as far as possible, the same for all states. “.
As for the territorial constituencies in each state, the Constitution says that they must be divided “in such a way that the ratio between the population of each constituency and the number of seats allocated to it is, as far as possible, the same in the whole state ”.
But the population is subject to change and therefore there should be periodic review population and appropriate adjustments in the distribution of seats to various legislative and elected bodies. This is the delimitation work, which in India is carried out by a Delimitation Commission, numbering four so far: 1952, 1963, 1973, 2002, although the latter has not resulted in any change in the number of Lok. The seats of Sabha, which were frozen from 1976 to 2026 by way of amendments to the constitutional provisions. This was done with the aim of encouraging population control since states that have had little success in promoting family planning programs would end up having a greater share of the population.
legislators while those who succeed in controlling population growth would be penalized by having fewer legislators.
the delimitation the exercise must be carried out according to the data of the most recent census.
Did J & K’s special status mean a separate delineation?
Yes and no. With respect to the seats of Lok Sabha, the delimitation for Jammu and Kashmir was made with the other states, but the seats of the Assembly were delimited in accordance with the separate constitution of Jammu and Kashmir in because of its special status. But Article 370, which gave Jammu and Kashmir its special status, is now repealed. In fact, there was no adjustment of Assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir when the last delineation exercise, between 2002 and 2008, took place across the country.
After Jammu and Kashmir lost its special status and became a Union territory, a delimitation commission was set up to redraw the boundaries of parliamentary constituencies and the Assembly. Jammu and Kashmir has been under central rule since June 19, 2018, following the collapse of the PDP-BJP coalition government.
How strong is the J&K Assembly? Will the bumper go up after the delineation?
Prior to the 2019 reports, when the Center said that “the number of seats in the UT Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir is expected to increase from 107 to 114”, the effective membership of the Assembly was 87, including four seats falling in Ladakh. region, which is now a separate UT with no legislature. Twenty-four seats in the Assembly have remained vacant as they come under
Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The increase in the number of seats is seen as part of a move to ensure electoral parity between the two regions of Kashmir and Jammu, which in the pre-2019 pattern had 46 and 37 seats respectively. This was seen as tipping the scales in favor of the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley at the expense of Jammu.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill, 2019, presented to the Rajya Sabha by the Union Home Secretary Amit Shah also stated that the Lok Sabha would have five UT seats. of JK, while Ladakh would only have one. The undivided state of J&K had six seats in total in Lok Sabha and sent four members to the upper house.
The Boundary Commission for Jammu and Kashmir was established by the Center in March last year, but was granted a one-year extension in March due to the COVID-19[female[feminine pandemic. It is headed by Judge (Retired) Ranjana Prakash Desai and includes two other members.
How did the political parties react to the delimitation?
The state’s political parties were initially opposed to the delimitation exercise and when the first meeting of the delimitation commission was held in February this year, three of the five associate members – the deputies of the National Conference Farooq Abdullah, Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi – did not arrive. PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti had tweeted her opposition to the commission, saying that “the heartbreaking haste with which the GOI (the Indian government) is carrying out the demarcation of the railways at J&K has raised real and serious apprehension over the motives of this exercise. This is part of the BJP’s larger plan to divide and pit regions, religions and communities against each other. “
However, earlier this month, reports indicated that the National Conference was likely to reconsider the decision to oppose the delimitation.