PDP-BJP alliance talks of Delimitation Commission but ‘allies’ do not - watsupptoday.com
PDP-BJP alliance talks of Delimitation Commission but ‘allies’ do not
Posted 13 Sep 2017 12:55 PM

PDP-BJP Agenda of Alliance (AoA) lays down that 'for the deprived groups, the coalition government will' constitute a Delimitation Commission for the delimiting of Legislative Assembly Constituencies as required by law. Before drawing the agenda of alliance both BJP and PDP well knew that before ordering for a new delimitation commission before 2031 census, the Constitution of Jammu And Kashmir (Twenty-Ninth Amendment) Act, 2002 (23rd April, 2002) Act needed to be amended and for amending J&K Constitution 2/3rd of the total membership (not those present ) of house is needed. They have not talked of taking any steps in this regards even after nearly 30 months of their joining hands what to talk of making efforts to gather the support of 59 MLAs to amend the J&K Constitution they have not even shown any intentions for appointing delimitation from a common platform after forming government. Why did they include this item in their AOA could be a question? And instead, demands for reorganisation of areas of J&K or in other words for trifurcation of J&K have started coming again. Earlier people used to talk of regional councils. Under the present system indicators and political understandings, the people of Ladakh and Jammu Regions have been alleging that they are discriminated politically, administratively and economically. Leadership from Kashmir Valley has so far opposed reorganisation / trifurcation of Indian state of J&K. Let us, in an unbiased manner have look at vital key indicators that can be identified from constitutional/ legislative, administrative / governance, social and development/economic angles. As per Section 50 of J&K Constitution (1957) the Legislative Council has to have 28 elected members and 8 nominated members. Out of these 28 MLCs, there have to be 14 elected members from Jammu region,12 elected MLCs Kashmir region and 2 from Ladakh region. So, as regards, Legislative Council region-wise distribution has been done for representatives (MLCs) under Section 50 of J&K Constitution. But as regards Legislative Assembly no region wise distributions of single member constituencies (MLAs) has been made in Section-47 of J&K Constitution that mentions only total number of MLAs and in sub-Section-3 of Section-47 it has been laid down that upon the completion of each census, the number, extent and boundaries of the territorial constituencies (MLAs) shall be readjusted by such authority (Delimitation Commission in general ) and in such manner as the Legislature may by law determine. The procedure and basis for distribution of Members in Legislative Assembly (MLAs) over the State has been laid down in Section-4 {2- (a-I to iv )} of the Jammu & Kashmir Representation of Peoples Act 1957 ( Act No. IV of1957).For making a rational distribution 5 guiding parameters (1.Population 2.Geographical Compactness 3.Nature of Terrain 4.Facilities of Communication 5.and like considerations) have been mentioned for the Delimitations to work with. A Delimitation Commission is to be constituted for the purpose after every population census for making any required changes due to any changed circumstances. In 1951 through an ad hoc delimitation based on only estimated population of State as 40 Lakh (including Pakistan occupied areas of Indian State of J&K - POJK ) 30 MLAs were kept for Jammu Region , 43 for Kashmir Region and shadow provision of 25 MLAs was made for POJK. But even after a detailed Jammu & Kashmir Representation of Peoples Act 1957 (Act No. IV of1957) was enacted number of MLAs for Kashmir Region have remained more than Jammu Region although constitutionally as per Section-50 of J&K Constitution Jammu Region has 14 elected Member Legislative Council (MLCs) as against only 12 MLCs for Kashmir Region. This fact was also raised by me before the Delimitation Commission in 1994 but so strangely the commission had distributed 46 MLAs out of 87 ( revised strength) over Kashmir valley that had constitutionally just 12 elected MLCs and so unfairly only 37 MLAs out of Jammu region where constitutionally there existed 14 elected MLCs. The delimitation had worked in such an irrational manner even after the detailed well speaking J&K Representation of Peoples Act 1957 had been drafted/passed where at least four (Geographical Compactness 2. Nature of Terrain 3. Facilities of Communication 4 And the like ) out of 5 parameters as laid down there in surely are tilting the balance towards Jammu region and in addition to that Jammu region areas had constitutionally 14 elected MLCs as compared to only 12 for Kashmir region distributing more (46) MLAs for Kashmir region than for Jammu Region (37 MLAs ) is beyond any logical & fair understanding. There existed enough scope to correct the even the Delimitation Commission order of April 1995 was issued but no political party objected to that even politically although there was enough scope for challenging the delimitation before the High Court / Apex Court. A scientific study based on the five parameters laid down in Section-4 {2- (a-I to iv )} of the Jammu & Kashmir Representation of Peoples Act 1957 ( Act No. IV of1957) had been done by writer in 1993 based on 1981 census, had been made public through media and had also been submitted to Delimitation Commission in 1994 where in it had been shown that there exited fair scope for distributing 45-46 MLAs over Jammu region, 36-37 MLAs on Kashmir region and 5-6 MLAs over Ladakh Region but neither it was taken care by the commission nor was used by the leadership of Jammu region for making a case. The 1995 Delimitation order was issued during Governor rule in J&K. Surely the Delimitation Commissions worked under some pressures and it has been alleged by people outside Kashmir Valley that it could not have been done had Delhi not remained more inclined towards Kashmir Region. And with that unfair delimitations it could be said that people of Bani/ Basoli/ Billawar, Nowshera/ Sunderbani/ Kalakot, Akhnoor Rajouri, Buddal/Mendar; Mahore/Gool, Ramnagar; Bhaderwah/ Thathri/Gandoh, Doda, Kishtwar,Gulabgarh/ Paddar, Hiranagar, R.S.Pura; Ramban, Kupwara, Baramulla, Kargil , Zanskar, Leh ,Nubra, Changthang, Sha, Dhahanand like distant/ backward/ bad terrain areas have been more unfairly represented in the Legislature. Under a fair delimitation distant areas of the then Doda / Kathua/Udhampur/ Rajouri would have been benefitted by getting 7 to 9 more MLAs. Suring it was due to the reason that the constitutional facts / realities were likely to be more and disclosed by the people like the writer, the Kashmir centric leadership through the Constitution Of Jammu And Kashmir (Tweniy-Ninth Amendment) Act, 2002 (23rd April_ 2002) managed to put practically a bar on fresh delimitation ( distribution) of single member segments in the Legislative Assembly till 2031. No doubt such amendment would not have been passed in case the NC MLAs of Jammu Region belonging to National Conference would have voted against the Bill but why they did not vote against. Why they did not vote against must be asked atleast by the people of erstwhile Doda/ Udhampur/ Kathua/ Rajouri districts. Such approach was sure to cause regional heart burnings and hence suggestions have been regularly coming for a fair delimitation and even 'trifurcation' of the State. Those who talk of stability and peace in J&K as their mission must take such resentments and demands for fair delimitation seriously and move a bill for undoing the Constitution Of Jammu And Kashmir (Twenty-Ninth Amendment) Act, 2002 (23rd April_ 2002) so that a delimitation commission could be appointed. Such action that would surely settle some regional divides in case atleast a fair delimitation is done giving 45-46 MLAs to Jammu Region, 36-37 to Kashmir Region and 4 to 5 to Ladakh region in line with Jammu having 14 elected MLCs, Kashmir 12 MLCs and Ladakh 2 MLCs

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