Srinagar: A authorities fee redrawing electoral constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir (J&Ok) mentioned on Friday that the method can be honest and clear, and based mostly on consultations with all stakeholders, rejecting fees that the contentious train was pre-planned.

The delimitation fee remarks got here on the final day of its four-day tour of Kashmir and was a response to fees by the Peoples Democratic Party, which stayed away from the panel’s conferences and alleged that the “pre-determined” train was meant to disempower the folks of Kashmir.

“I don’t think anybody should have any fears. We are very confident that we will finish this in a transparent manner. Otherwise, we would not have come to spend three to four days here talking to so many people,” mentioned former Supreme Court decide, justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, who heads the three-member panel.

The fee additionally mentioned that delimitation can be performed on the idea of the 2011 census and there was no present standards on tips on how to divide seats between Hindu-majority Jammu and Muslim-majority Kashmir. Other members of the panel are chief election commissioner Sushil Chandra and J&Ok’s election commissioner Ok Ok Sharma.

“We are very overwhelmed by the participation of various stakeholders in large numbers. We have taken note of their suggestions. This is our first visit and I assure you this is not our last. This process is a complex exercise and this commission will take all necessary steps to continue this engagement,” Desai mentioned.

Speaking on comparable traces, Chandra mentioned: “We can assure you and as the chairperson also did, it will be an absolutely transparent process and we will take into account views of all stakeholders. That is why we visited Srinagar, Kishtwar and Jammu, and met 800 people from 290 groups,” he mentioned.

“If something would have been on our minds or something was decided earlier, then this commission would not have come here. I would like to say very clearly that nothing has been prepared so far. We wanted to make an assessment and know the views of the people. If that was done then there was no need for us to come,” he mentioned.

Quoting a Supreme Court Judgement, he mentioned: “The delimitation is not a mere mathematical exercise. It must reflect the political aspirations of the society”.

“We see it as one Union territory. We don’t bifurcate (on the basis of) how much will go to the Valley and how much will go to Jammu. All will be done in a transparent manner and criteria will be implemented uniformly,” he added.

On PDP’s resolution to avoid the train, Desai mentioned: “We can only interact with those who want to participate in the process… We wish that they all come.”

Delimitation is a controversial course of that was mandated after the erstwhile state was bifurcated into two union territories on August 5, 2019. It is seen as step one in the direction of holding recent elections within the area after seven years however native events allege that the train will tilt the stability of energy in the direction of Jammu.

In the press convention, Chandra mentioned the delimitation train can be carried out as per the 2011 census and can think about a number of options like geographical compactness, conveniences, accessibility, communication services and topography of the area.

“Earlier, the delimitation exercise in J&K was done as per 1981 census but in the rest of the country, the delimitation was done based on the 2001 census. Twenty-four seats of the legislative assembly of UT of Jammu and Kashmir shall remain vacant and the said area shall be excluded in delimiting the territorial constituency as provided under part V of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019,” he mentioned.

The fee was constituted in March final yr to redraw the Lok Sabha and meeting constituencies of Jammu & Kashmir, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Nagaland. The fee has practically 9 months left to finish the train. It may also carve constituencies to be reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for the primary time within the UT.

The delimitation concern was mentioned at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s landmark assembly with political leaders from J&Ok on June 24 — the primary political outreach by the Centre in two years.

The Centre sought the completion of the delimitation train earlier than meeting polls and restoration of statehood. After the occasion, the National Conference ended its boycott of the panel and met the members.

But the five-party People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) — of which each NC and PDP are a component — demanded the restoration statehood earlier than elections.

The events which met the fee included the NC, Congress, CPI(M), Apni Party and People’s Conference. While nearly all of the events instructed that inhabitants must be the principle standards for reorganisation of constituencies, the People’s Conference and CPI(M) demanded that the census figures of 2011 must be the benchmark for the train.

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