Delimitation Commission Releases Report on J&K Constituencies, Wants More Seats for Kashmiri Pandits

The much-awaited report by the delimitation commission to redraw the electoral map of Jammu and Kashmir was notified and submitted on Thursday in which all five parliamentary constituencies will have an equal number of assembly constituencies (ACs) for the first time. Also, nine seats will be reserved for Scheduled Tribes (STs).

According to the final delimitation order, out of the 90 assembly constituencies, 43 will be part of the Jammu region and 47 for the Kashmir region. Jammu and Kashmir will be treated as a single entity for the purpose of delimitation.

Of the nine assembly constituencies reserved for STs, six are in the Jammu region, and three are in the Valley.

The Patwar circle is the lowest administrative unit, which has not been broken. All assembly constituencies will remain within the boundary of the concerned district.

The commission has also recommended additional seats in the assembly for Kashmiri migrants and displaced persons from Pakistan-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The former J&K state did not have an elected government since 2018.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra, who is also a member of the delimitation commission, had told News18 recently that the process of outlining the assembly and Lok Sabha seats in J&K would be done by May 6.

“The delimitation exercise in Jammu and Kashmir has been on since March 2020,” he said in the exclusive conversation. “It’s been two years and the commission’s tenure is till May 6. By May 6, 2022, definitely, the report on J&K delimitation will be submitted and the process will be complete.”

Since Jammu and Kashmir was stripped of its special status with the abrogation of sections of Article 370 of the Constitution in August 2019, according to new rules, the number of assembly constituencies has been increased from 107 to 114.

However, 24 of these seats are in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). So, for now, the delimitation exercise is only being carried out for 90 seats.

The commission is headed by the former Supreme Court Justice Ranjana Desai, and comprises CEC Sushil Chandra and State Election Commissioner KK Sharma.

The commission was established on March 6, 2020, with a one-year term to redraw the parliamentary and assembly constituencies of the J&K, six months after the reorganisation of the Union Territory.

The commission was given a one-year extension in 2021 and again of two months by the Centre on March 6, 2022.

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