June 2019 News

Oppn Pressure On Delimitation Panel Puts Saffron Party In A Fix

9 June 2019
The Tribune
Dinesh Manhotra

Jammu: The BJP is in a fix as opposition parties have stepped up the pressure to set a deadline for the delimitation of the Assembly seats to end the 'bias' against the Jammu and Ladakh regions. Although the BJP has, from time to time, promised setting up a delimitation panel to redraw Assembly constituencies in its election manifesto, party leaders were non-committal on setting any deadline for the exercise to 'empower' neglected regions of the state. Saffron party leaders are supporting the setting up of a delimitation panel, but they are not giving any timeframe for it. Instead of setting a deadline, state president of the BJP Ravinder Raina said on Friday, 'If the Governor's administration will set up a delimitation commission, it will end political discrimination with the Jammu and Ladakh regions.' The Congress had already doubted BJP's intention to set up a panel to re-draw the Assembly constituencies. 'Delimitation appears to be a mere slogan by the BJP to befool people ahead of the Assembly elections in J&K,' Congress spokesman Ravinder Sharma had stated. Meanwhile, Panthers Party leader Harsh Dev Singh reminded the BJP of its 'Vision Document' released during the 2014 elections as also the statements of its Central and state leaders assuring end of the politico-economic bias against the Jammu region by holding delimitation of the Assembly constituencies in J&K. He said with all legislative powers pertaining to the state vesting in Parliament under President's rule, the BJP should have absolutely no problem in amending Section 47 of the Constitution so as to end the freeze imposed upon delimitation in 2001-2002 by the state Assembly. Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan supremo Lal Singh said the state was under President's rule so there was no reason to delay the setting up of a panel. The Dogri Sanstha, a premier literary and cultural organisation of the state, in a specially convened meeting of its office-bearers, welcomed the reported initiative of the Centre to set up a delimitation commission for the Assembly seats in J&K. It felt that due representation to the Jammu region by enhancing its Assembly seats on an equitable basis would go a long way in addressing the injustice being done to the people of the Jammu region over decades to some extent. Members emphasised that the very basis of the democracy was to provide political representation to all citizens in an equitable and fair manner. 'But Jammu has been denied this basic democratic right since Independence,' they said.

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