Hold early Delimitation to end political and economic subjugation of Jammu region: Harsh


JAMMU: Seeking early initiation of process for Delimitation of Assembly constituencies in the state as assured by the BJP-PDP govt in the Agenda of Alliance, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh flayed the neglect of the ruling coalition to take up the Jammu related issues for implementation.
He said that assurances for delimitation and for ending regional bias were not only doled out by the central BJP leadership but the BJP's vision document released during Elections also categorically promised early delimitation of Assembly constituencies in J&K so as to ensure justice to Jammu region with 33% seats reserved for women, five seats for displaced persons of POJK out of 24 seats reserved for them in the state constitution and three seats for Kashmir migrants.
He said that delimitation of constituencies which forms a part of the CMP deserves a priority consideration with early constitution of Delimitation commission so as to make possible the accomplishment of the Delimitation exercise during the currency of the present coalition which otherwise is a time consuming process. He said that delimitation process involving delimitation of constituencies, re-adjustment of territorial boundaries, rotation of reserved seats, identification of seats for fresh reservation, reservation of seats as proposed for women etc. should be completed in a time bound manner so that next elections are held as per the census 2011. He was addressing a press conference in Jammu today.
Emphasizing the urgency to initiate the Delimitation process on war footing, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh said that geographical area, topography, no. of voters, nature of terrain, inaccessibility and poor communication facilities are the factors which weigh heavily in favour of Jammu region and entitle it to a higher number of Assembly constituencies. Quoting the officials statistics, Mr. Singh said that it was ironical that Kashmir valley with a total area of 15953 sq. Kms had 46 Assembly seats as compared to 37 seats for Jammu region whose geographical areas was 26293 sq Kms.
He further said that Kashmir region despite well developed communication links and a high road density has one Assembly segment for every 346 sq Kms area, but contrarily Jammu region with its highly tough terrain and acute accessibility problems and an extremely low road density has one assembly segment for every 710 sq Kms. He said that in terms of voters also there are wide disparities with constituencies in Kashmir like Gurez Assembly which has merely 18,000 voters against around two lakh voters of Jammu west and Gandhi Nagar constituencies. He said that Kishtwar region provided the most glaring example of discrimination as its had only two assembly seats with an area of 7824 sq Kms which was half of the area of entire Kashmir region. Likewise district Udhampur, Jammu, Kathua, Rajouri and Poonch also were required to be given additional Assembly seats in view of their entitlement on the basis of prescribed norms governing delimitation.
Mr. Harsh Dev Singh regretted that while Delimitation process had been conducted and completed all over the country by Justice Kuldeep Singh commission, it was J&K state alone which had been singled out under the pretext of Art 370. He said delimitation was also necessary to ensure the rotation of reserved seats which continued to be so reserved for the last more than twenty years.
He said that the State Legislature was competent to take decision and the needful was required to be done at the earliest. He warned of a full scale agitation in case the coalition govt. didn't initiate the process for Delimitation at the earliest.
Mr. Parshotam Parihar State Secretary Panthers Trade Union was also present during the press conference.