The political parties in Jammu and Kashmir have given mixed reactions on the Centre's decision for beginning the process of delimitation of Assembly segments. While the ruling BJP has welcomed the move, most other political parties in the Union Territory have expressed apprehensions.
The process of delimitation of the Assembly segments of the Union Territory has begun more than six months after the abrogation of Article 370 and the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was divided into two Union Territories.
Last week the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora named deputy Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra as a member of the proposed Delimitation Commission based on a request by the Ministry of Law and Justice.
Welcoming the move BJP state president Ashok Kaul said the BJP has been favouring delimitation of the Assembly constituencies in J&K since the nineties.
He said after the erstwhile state was split into two Union Territories, the number of the Assembly seats for J&K had come down to 83 from 87 with four segments going to the Ladakh. But, with the addition of seven more segments the number of Assembly segments for J&K would go up to 90.
"Election Commission has already appointed a representative. Now the Centre and J&K should send their representatives so that the Commission is complete and the delimitation process for J&K gets started," Kaul said.
He said there is no role of any political party in this process as there are laid down guidelines for carrying out the delimitation based on population, area, connectivity and accessibility.
The Congress said the delimitation was being done before its scheduled time. Congress leader Irfan Nakeeb said the delimitation process should have been done at its stipulated time in 2021.
"We have to see what is Centre's intention for starting the delimitation process just now, we are hearing reports that more constituencies are being added, but people are sceptical about the whole process."
Janata Dal United State president G.N. Shaheen said there should be no discrimination in the process of delimitation on the basis of regions, and people in Kashmir and Jammu regions should receive an equal treatment.
"The delimitation should be done equally in both the Jammu and Kashmir regions," he said. PDP General Secretary Abdul Hameed Kosheen said the party can only take a decision after its detained leadership is released. "We are not in a position to react about this move, when the leaders are released our party will sit and decide on this issue," he said.