YB WEB DESK. Dated: 2/20/2020 11:40:33 AM

Jammu, Feb 19 Referring to the nomination of Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra as a member of Delimitation Commission for J&K by CEC, Harsh Dev Singh JKNPP Chairman and former Minister has called upon the Union govt to amend the J&K Re-organization Act as well prior to the nomination of the other two members of the said Commission. He said that while the ECI has acted upon the advice of the MHA, the much needed initiative on the part of GoI was conspicuously missing. The Delimitation of Assemblies could commence only after the amendment of sec 63 of J&K Re-organization Act of 2019 which has expressly barred any such exercise until the relevant figures for first census after the year 2026 were published. He said that identical provision exists in Art 170 of the constitution of India which has now become applicable to the UT of J&K after abolition of Art 370. Elaborating his point, Singh said that Art 170 of the constitution was amended vide Eighty fourth constitution Amendment passed by the Parliament in 2001 during AB Vajpayee regime which froze the number of seats of legislative Assemblies of various states and barred any re-adjustments of Assembly constitutions till first census after 2026. He said that after the incorporation of the said provision in constitution of India, the number of seats were frozen all across the country including J&K by virtue of an identical provision inserted in the JK state laws. He revealed that NPP had challenged the said law in the High Court and subsequently in the Supreme Court seeking Delimitation of Assembly constitutions in the state of J&K by questioning the embargo on the holding of such exercise. He divulged that both the High Court as well as the Supreme Court had dismissed the petition of Panthers Party by referring to the law passed by the Parliament and J&K State over the subject. The position of law remaining the same it was ironical that the GoI was talking of holding delimitation without making necessary amendments in the relevant laws. He said that amendments were required to be effected not only in the J&K Re-organization Act but also Art 170 of the constitution of India which became applicable to the new UT after August 5. Asserting that Delimitation of Assembly constituencies was essential to remove regional disparities and political imbalances, Singh charged the BJP govt with adopting a casual approach over the most significant issue of Jammu region. He regretted that despite three consecutive sessions of Parliament including Monsoon session, winter session and Budget session, the BJP govt had failed to initiate necessary measures for fulfilling the most coveted demand of the people of Jammu seeking their due share in the political structure of J&K. He expressed the hope that proposed Delimitation would be taken to its logical conclusion and would not prove to be another Jumla of BJP.


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