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Start delimitation process in J&K. says BJP

Start delimitation process in J&K. says BJP

Author: Agencies
Publication: Indian Express
Date: August 13, 2008

Even as the Amarnath issue shows no signs of abating, the BJP demanded that delimitation of constituencies should be conducted in Jammu and Kashmir as done in the rest of the country. "We demand that the delimitation process should be started at the earliest in Jammu and Kashmir. It has been due for a long time," BJP senior leader Venkaiah Naidu said.

The delimitation exercise was initiated in the country by the Kuldip Singh Commission in 2002. Interestingly, the BJP-led NDA government which appointed the commission had agreed with other political parties at that time that Jammu and Kashmir should be exempted from the delimitation process.

The present demand from the BJP has come at a time when Jammu and Kashmir is on the boil with growing chasm between people from Jammu and those from the Valley (Kashmir).

Making the demand for delimitation, BJP argued that Jammu had been discriminated against in allotment of Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies.

"The Election Commission figures show that of approximately 56.12 lakh voters, 28,92,290 are from the Jammu region while 25,46,913 are from Kashmir. Around 1.73 lakh voters are from Ladakh," the BJP leader said. To further strengthen his argument, Naidu said the area occupied by Jammu is 26,000 sq km while Kashmir occupies only 15,000 sq km. "Despite this, there are only 37 Assembly constituencies in Jammu while Kashmir has 46 constituencies. Similarly, Jammu has only two Lok Sabha seats while Kashmir has three," Naidu said.

The outburst in Jammu is due to accumulation of grievances over the years and the government should take serious steps to address this feeling of neglect among the people of the state, he added.

Other than Jammu and Kashmir, delimitation of seats has not been done in four north-east states and Jharkhand due to opposition from some local groups.

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