Delimitation commission looking at data provided by deputy commissioners of districts.
Srinagar: After the participation of Kashmir-based mainstream political parties in the exercise of the delimitation commission, work has intensified on the ground and there is likelihood, according to media reports, that Assembly segments may increase in both Jammu and Kashmir regions.
Except the PDP and ANC, all the political parties have recently met the delimitation commission team, both in Srinagar and Jammu and after they complete the exercise, it would be released in public domain to get suggestions for the final report. Reports said that many Assembly segments are likely to be increased in the Jammu region as the commission will do so on the basis of population and topography.
They have already collected data and details of every district from the Deputy Commissioners of all 22 districts in Jammu and Kashmir and in order to take the final call, they are at the stage when they will decide where to increase Assembly segments and on what basis.
Kashmir-based mainstream political parties have expressed their apprehensions over the singling out of Jammu and Kashmir for delimitation and some of them, like the PDP, have said that it will benefit a particular region and a particular political party—an oblique reference to Jammu and BJP respectively.
The delimitation commission is also looking keenly at the data provided by deputy commissioners of all the districts and are studying the material because there has been an overlap in many districts with the areas falling in each other’s jurisdiction.
“The overlaps are because of the fact that districts were increased a few years back from 12 to 22 and now only 20 because Ladakh is a Union Territory; so there have been such mistakes. Similarly, in this exercise, tehsils also increased in entire Jammu and Kashmir from 55 to 217,” an official of UT administration told this reporter.
He said that it seems that Assembly segments would increase during the delimitation exercise and many of them may increase in Kathua, Samba and in the Chenab valley region of Jammu. However, he said that such scope is available in some segments of Kashmir valley also.
Media reports from New Delhi have also suggested that the delimitation commission during the current exercise is likely to add seven more Assembly seats and the total number of seats in Jammu and Kashmir may go up to 90 seats.
It is in place to mention that following the reach out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with political parties of Jammu and Kashmir, delimitation commission members came to Jammu and Kashmir on a four-day visit and held meetings with many political parties and other groups.
They also held detailed meetings with the Jammu and Kashmir administration, especially with the Deputy Commissioners, and collected not only the feedback, but also the required data from the bureaucracy.