EC holds first meet to discuss delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir

New Delhi: The Election Commission on Tuesday held the first meeting to discuss delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir. During the meeting, initial discussions were held on delimitation of Assembly constituencies in the region.The meeting was attended by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, election commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra, and other senior officials of poll body.

The discussion on delimitation of constituencies comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre abrogated Article 370 and announced that the state would be divided into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir with an Assembly, Ladakh without Assembly.

Even prior to the announcement of bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, reports had said that the Centre was considering fresh delimitation of constituencies. It was said that the decision was based on the belief that Jammu region was discriminated against, as there were more Assembly seats in the Kashmir region. Even Ladakh had alleged discrimination.

According to earlier reports, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs was mulling the appointment of a delimitation commission to study the feasibility of the exercise. The commission was slated to take into account the population and area of different parts of the region, following which it would make relevant recommendations.
A report was also sent to the Centre by Governor Satya Pal Malik with regard to the exercise. This comes shortly after abrogation of Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh are slated to come into existence on October 31, the birth anniversary of India’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.