Government staves off direct reply on delimitation in J&K

New Delhi: The government on Tuesday did not state directly and clearly whether it was planning to conduct a delimitation exercise in Jammu and Kashmir.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MP Asaduddin Owaisi and Ajay (Teni) Misra, BJP MP from Kheri in Uttar Pradesh, raised question in the Lower House whether Jammu and Kashmir had not been included in the delimitation exercise taken up in the country and whether the government considered to undertake it with a view to remove regional imbalance in the state.

The two members also asked if the government planned to do so, what were the details and by what time the work related to the constitution of a Delimitation Commission is likely to be completed.

Answering the questions, Minister of State for Home Affairs A.G. Kishan Reddy said in a written reply, “The state of Jammu and Kashmir was not included within the purview of the Delimitation Act 2002 as Article 170 of the Constitution of India that deals with delimitation of constituencies for state legislative assemblies has not been extended to Jammu and Kashmir.”

He said the “delimitation of legislative assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir is carried out under Sections 47 and 141 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.”

To another question about the details of the present voting population in Jammu and Kashmir, Reddy said, “At present, there are 37,33,111 voters in Jammu Division, 40,10,971 voters in Kashmir Division and 1,79,147 voters in Ladakh Division.”

On whether the government was considering to hold election in Jammu and Kashmir only after the delimitation exercise, the Minister said, “The Election Commission has not yet fixed the dates for holding Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.”