Opposition parties reject delimitation panel report on J&K, to discuss situation on Monday

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JAMMU: Several opposition parties on Saturday jointly rejected the delimitation panel report as highly objectionable, biased and politically motivated and called for an emergency meeting here on Monday.

However, many Gujjar and Bakerwal organisations welcomed the reservation of nine assembly seats for Scheduled Tributes (STs) and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for it.

The delimitation panel on Jammu and Kashmir, formed in March 2020, on Thursday notified its final report giving six additional assembly seats to the Jammu region and one to the Kashmir Valley and bringing areas of Rajouri and Poonch under the Anantnag parliamentary seat. The Jammu division will now have 43 assembly seats and the Kashmir division 47 in the 90-member house.

Jammu-based All Parties United Morcha (APUM), comprising Congress, National Conference, CPI(M), CPI besides several social organisations, rejected the final delimitation report, claiming that it is highly partisan, motivated and against all basic norms of delimitation like contiguity, connectivity, population, physical feature and public convenience.

The commission has totally ignored the ground realities and neglected the convenience and aspirations of the people of different areas, the APUM said in a statement here.

It claimed that the exercise of the commission was an eye wash as the report was prepared at the behest of the ruling BJP.

The APUM has called for an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the situation emerging after the highly objectionable report, the statement said and appealed to all like-minded parties and organisations to come together to raise their voice against the report.

A large number of representations were submitted by the general public and opposition parties within a short period of time after the publication of the draft report but hardly any genuine objections or representations were considered. Only an eye wash of public hearing was conducted without considering the most genuine objections, the statement said.

It said the commission had neglected the fundamental principles and norms and had done great injustice to different areas, segments and communities.

Separately, six Gujjar and Bakerwal organisations — Gurjar Desh Charitable Trust Jammu, Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation Jammu, Akhil Bhartiya Gurjar Mahasabha Jammu , Jammu and Kashmir Gujjar Bakerwal Joint Forum, Reasi, Gujjar Bakarwal Ittehad Council , Rajouri and Sarimastaan Tribal Gurjar Welfare Foundation Poonch — welcomed the delimitation commission’s final notification reserving nine seats for STs and thanked the prime minister.

The reservation of nine assembly seats including six in Jammu and three in Kashmir division for STs is a step that will prove historic towards empowerment of tribal communities, they said in a joint statement here.

They said though the Gujjars and Bakerwals were declared ST in 1991, the tribes had to wait for 31 years to get their legitimate right of political reservation.

The political reservation granted to ST will empower Gujjars and Bakerwals who are a major tribal group in Jammu and Kashmir It will infuse a sense of pride among the tribes, the statement said. (PTI)