As social media is flooded with rumours and speculations after the recent meeting of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the political analysts are of the opinion that nothing 'big' is going to happen in J&K.
It is believed that Union Government is going to expedite the ongoing delimitation process to re-draw Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies in the newly carved Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir before holding assembly elections.
Furthermore, J&K is going to get a new Director General of Police (DGP) in the coming weeks as the incumbent top-cop is going to get an important assignment at the Centre.
The delimitation exercise started in March 2020
The Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir, headed by retired Supreme Court Judge, Ranjana Prakash Desai, was constituted by the Centre on March 6, 2020, to redraw Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies of the Union Territory in accordance with the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which bifurcated the state into union territories of J&K and Ladakh.
According to Section 60 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, "...the number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir shall be increased from 107 to 114...". Out of these, 24 seats are in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK). So effectively, the seats will go up from 83 to 90.
The elections to the Assembly of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be held only after the process of delimitation is completed.
The first meeting of the panel held in February
After its constitution, the first meeting of the Delimitation Commission was held on February 18 this year but the same was boycotted by the principal opposition party, National Conference. The meeting was held to seek suggestions/views on the process of delimitation in respect of the union territory.
Now NC hints at participation in delimitation exercise
After boycotting the maiden meeting of the panel, the National Conference has now hinted at participating in the exercise of redrawing assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies.
On Tuesday, National Conference president and former Chief Minister Dr. Farooq Abdullah said that his party is not against the delimitation process in J&K. He, however, said that the method adopted by the Central Government for delimitation of Assembly constituencies is not in tandem with the procedure.
National Conference has three Lok Sabha members in Jammu and Kashmir and all of them are Associate members of the Delimitation Commission along with two Lok Sabha MPs of the BJP.
Deployment of additional forces fuel rumours
Meeting of Lieutenant Governor with Union Home Minister coupled with additional deployment of around 200 companies of paramilitary forces fuelled rumours and speculations about the likelihood of something 'big' administrative and political changes in the Union Territory.
"We want to believe even in rumours rumoured to be rumours. We love rumours don't we. Last few days has been all about rumours and conspiracies. They say don't believe a rumour to b true until govt actually denies it", Peoples' Conference leader, Sajad Lone tweeted on Monday, adding, "Seems all rumours rumoured to b rumours are rumoured to have been rumours after all. But rumours r still rumouring".
In an obvious reference towards the detention of political leaders after August 5, 2019, National Conference leader Tanvir Sadiq tweeted, "While rumours are flying thick and fast - should we be ready for the second semester? MLA's hostel 2.0?".
"For those asking me what is going to happen in Jammu & Kashmir: Delimitation will happen followed by-elections early next year only if all goes well. J&K might see a new DGP as well in the coming weeks. Strict no-tolerance policy towards radicals in the administration. Nothing more", eminent journalist Aditya Raj Kaul tweeted.
Pakistan reacts to rumours
Amid rumours in Kashmir Valley, the Pakistan government was quick to seize this opportunity to disseminate its vicious propaganda. Interestingly, relying on rumours and speculations, Pakistan has activated its embassies to know 'what is going to happen in J&K.'
"We have noted with serious concern reports indicating that India might be plotting further division, bifurcation & demographic changes in Jammu and Kashmir to perpetuate its illegal occupation. No new instrument of occupation shall have any legal effect," Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesman Zahid Hafiz Chaudhri tweeted.
We have noted with serious concern reports indicating that India might be plotting further division, bifurcation & demographic changes in #IIOJK to perpetuate its illegal occupation. No new instrument of occupation shall have any legal effect. 1/3— Spokesperson ?? MoFA (@ForeignOfficePk) June 7, 2021
While rumours are flying thick and fast - should we be ready for second semester?— Tanvir Sadiq (@tanvirsadiq) June 6, 2021
MLA’s hostel 2.0? ?
We want to believe even in rumours rumoured to be rumours.— Sajad Lone (@sajadlone) June 7, 2021
We love rumours don’t we. Last few days has been all about rumours and conspiracies. They say don’t believe a rumour to b true until govt actually denies it.