New Delhi, September 10 : The Delimitation Commission set up by the Modi government to redraw constituencies of Indian parliament and local assembly in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir has completed data collection process even as it is yet to visit the territory to interact with people.
Officials told media that the Commission has completed data collection and is preparing a framework to carve out assembly constituencies on the basis of the 2011 census.
The Indian government had on March 6, 2020 constituted the Commission, to be headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, to redraw Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies of IIOJK and the northeastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland.
BJP General Secretary (Organisation), Ashok Koul, said the Commission will increase the assembly seats and that after completing its report it will visit IIOJK to seek views of political parties and people. He added that by the end of December, the Commission may complete its exercise and submit the report.
However, the opposition parties in IIOJK have questioned the credibility of the data collection. In this regard, Congress chief spokesperson in the occupied territory, Ravinder Sharma, said that nothing was known about the Delimitation Commission on the ground. He maintained that the Commission may be doing some paperwork on its own, but it is not in the public domain. He added that any such exercise should be conducted by taking into confidence the pro-India political parties of IIOJK.
Senior leader of the National Conference, Ali Mohammed Sagar, said the party has disassociated itself from the delimitation process. However, he added, the NC wanted that delimitation should be conducted with the participation of representatives of the people and people themselves.
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), in a statement issued in Srinagar, said the reports that Delimitation Commission has completed data collection process despite not visiting IIOJK is bizarre. It said, on what basis the data has been collected when the Commission has not visited the territory needs answers. It pointed out that extra-constitutional measures by the BJP regime will prove disastrous in the long term and political manipulation in a sensitive place like IIOJK must be avoided at any cost.
It is worth mentioning here that People and politicians in the Kashmir Valley view the exercise as a move to tilt the balance of power towards Jammu, by increasing the assembly seats in the Hindu dominated region.