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Post at: Aug 05 2021

Delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir

Why in News?

  • The Delimitation Commission is on a tour of Jammu and Kashmir to see that Union Territory has freshly marked boundaries for all its constituencies before an assembly election can be announced.

More on News

  •  On 6th March, 2020 six months after the reorganization of J&K, the Delimitation Commission was constituted to the Union Territory.
  • It is headed by Justice (Retired) Ranjana Prakash Desai. It was given an extension of one year in March this year.

The DC panel of J&K:-

Headed by: Rajana Prakash Desai

Ex-officio members    

(1) Sushil Chandra (Chief Election Commissioner)

(2) K.K. Sharma (J&K State Election Commissioner)

Associate Members:   

(1) Farooq Abdullah

(2) Mohammad Akbar Lone

(3) Hasnain Masoodi

(4) Dr. Jitendra Singh

(5) Jugal Kishore Sharma

  • Why J&K needed Delimitation?
  • The delimitation process that was undertaken in 2002-08 across the country was not done in J&K.
  • The last time the boundaries of constituencies were redrawn in J&K was 1995.
  • It was based on the 1981 census. Due to insurgency and terrorism situation, census could not be held in 1991 in J&K.
  • Before the enactment of J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019 which bifurcated the erstwhile state, it’s assembly had 107 MLAs.
  • The law increased the strength of the assembly in the newly carved UT to 114. This also included 24 seats falling under Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
  • In practice, the effective strength of J&K assembly when elected will increase to 90. Earlier it was 83.

What is Delimitation Commission (DC)?

  • The DC is a panel set up with legislative back up and is independent of the government and political parties in its functioning.

It comprises retired justice of Supreme Court, CEC and Respective State Election Commissioners.

Delimitations in the past

  • First one was in 1950-51, which was carried on by the President of India as there was no process embedded in the constitution.
  • Then on the advice of Election Commission, D.C. Act, 1952 was enacted.
  • Delimitation Commissions have been set up in 1952, 1963, 1973 and 2002 under D.C. Act’s of 1952, 1962, 1972 and 2002.
  • Assembly seat in J&K were delimited in 1963, 1973 and 1995.

Way Forward

  • The Commission should dwell upon multilateral talks, taking into account the views of all the stakeholders.
  • And while completing the delimitation exercise (which will signal the resumption of political process in J&K) the commission should cater to the aspiration of the people of J&K.

Anubhav Upadhyay


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