STATE TIMES NEWS
New Delhi: A senior official of the Delimitation Commission will hold a virtual meet in the next few days with all deputy commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir to discuss various inputs on geographical features of constituencies and the suggestions made by them, sources said.Set up in March last year, the Commission is mandated to redraw the constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir which at present is under central rule. This year, the panel headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Desai was given one more year to complete its task. The delimitation panel had recently sought data on the area of existing constituencies, including geography and facilities available, and had asked the deputy commissioners for their suggestions to make them more “geographically compact”. Having received the data and suggestions, the Delimitation Commission has decided to hold a virtual meeting with the DCs to take forward the matter.“As far as possible, the constituency should be fully geographically compact,” explained a functionary.The development comes amid efforts by the Centre to bolster political processes in Jammu and Kashmir. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to chair a meeting with a select group of political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir next week, which is expected to set the road map for holding assembly elections there.Jammu and Kashmir has been under the Centre’s rule since November 2018 and in August 5, 2019, the Centre abrogated its special status and bifurcated it into union territories.Government officials said the assembly election is likely to be held after the Delimitation Commission redraws the constituencies.The Delimitation Commission had asked the DCs whether a constituency is in one district or spread across two. They were also asked about details of tehsils. As far as possible, not necessarily, one administrative unit should be in one constituency, else developmental work may suffer.Moreover, administrative control will be in two hands and not one, the functionary observed.All these issues and the suggestions made by the DCs will be discussed in the virtual meet.After the delimitation exercise, the number of assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir will go up from 83 to 90. Twenty-four seats of the Assembly continue to remain vacant as they fall under Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
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