Srinagar, Oct 27: The Central government has informed that there will be no further extension in delimitation commission’s tenure and the process will be completed by March 06, 2022, sources informed on Wednesday.
Authoritative sources said that March 06, 2022 will be the deadline for the completion of delimitation process in Jammu and Kashmir.
Notably, the Delimitation panel was set up in 2020 to redraw electoral constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier, on March 04, 2021, the delimitation commission was already given an extension of one year which was earlier ending on March 05, 2021.
The extension was given on the basis of not being able to hold meetings with the representatives of National Conference which has three representatives in the panel.
Three NC MP’s Farooq Abdullah, Hasnain Masoodi and Akbar Lone who were the associate members of the commission did not attended the meeting by saying that the exercise is “unconstitutional”.
The NC members had dissociated themselves from the delimitation commission and had challenged the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act in the Supreme Court and also due to COVID-19 pandemic the delimitation process was halted in 2021.
Following which the panel was given an extension till March 06, 2022 in order to complete the process of delimitation.
Meanwhile, from July 04 to July 09, the delimitation commission met several leaders of national and regional political parties, administrators and civil society groups in Jammu and Kashmir.
The commission also met leaders from the People’s Conference, National Conference, CPI, CPI (M), Panthers Party, Congress, BJP, Apni Party and Bahujan Samaj Party.
Sources said that the purpose of these interactions was to gather first hand information about the conduct of the mega exercise to carve out new constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir.
They said that elections will most likely be held before August 2022 in Jammu and Kashmir.
They also said that there will be no further extension to the delimitation commission.
“Keeping in view the political aspirations of the people of J&K, the Central government has decided to conduct delimitation for holding the election process at an earliest,” they said.
Notably, Home Minister Amit Shah during his three-day visit to J&K also g-ave a hint about the delimitation process and stated that the process will be followed by elections and then restoration of statehood.
Sources said that amid speculations about the reasons of not holding elections in Jammu and Kashmir by the centre, the government has decided to complete the process as soon as possible.
According to Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, the number of seats in the union territory’s assembly will be increased from 107 to 114. Out of these, 24 seats are for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Thus, the number of assembly seats for which elections will be held will go up from 83 to 90.
Notably, The delimitation panel is chaired by Retired justice Ranjana Prakash Desai along with Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra, State Election Commissioner KK Sharma.
90 assembly seats are to be delimited through the process of delimitation. Seven seats were added during the reorganisation of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh into two union territories. kns