Politics heated up in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir as all opposition parties have rejected the final draft of the Delimitation Commission and vowed to take this issue to the streets.
"We have decided to launch a joint struggle to oppose the draft report of the Delimitation Commission and to awake the general public against the report", chief spokesman of J&K Congress Ravinder Sharma told International Bussiness Times after presiding all-party meeting at Jammu.
Opposition parties have decided to stage a dharna in front of the office of the J&K Election Commission to lodge their protest.
All major political parties, except BJP, have rejected the final report of the Delimitation Commission. The Peoples Democratic Party has termed it as "divisive", "unconstitutional" and against the majority community of J&K.
Strategy to oppose Delimitation Commission report
A meeting of opposition parties namely Congress, National Conference, PDP, CPM, CPI, and IDP besides several social organizations like Statehood Mission, Deshbhagat Yaadgar Committee, and others was held today at Jammu to discuss the Delimitation Commission report.
Meeting in one voice rejected the report and vowed to jointly launch the struggle to oppose it and awake the general public.
The opposition termed the report as highly biased and politically motivated, at the behest of the ruling BJP, and decided to launch a sustained campaign to oppose it in public and educate the masses, starting from a silent sit în dharna in front of the office of the Election Commission.
"The commission has ignored the ground realities and neglected the convenience and aspirations of the people of different areas, widened gap of the population between different constituencies ranging from 37000 population to 1.90 lakh population, ignored the geographical, topographical situations and broadly public convenience, who have been puț to great inconvenience and their aspirations neglected în many ways în different areas," the meeting said.
The meeting observed that the exercise of the public hearing was an eye-wash because the final report was prepared at the behest of the ruling BJP.
"The Commission has done a great injustice with the people by clubbing the twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri with Anantnag- Kulgam Lok Sabha seat", the meeting pointed out and regretted that the panel has nullified the genuine demand for additional Lok Sabha in Jammu region, because of its vast area.
Mehbooba dubs the panel as "an extension of BJP"
Former Chief Minister and President of Peoples Democratic Party Mehbooba Mufti has rejected the final report of the Delimitation Commission, alleging that the panel had become an "extension of the BJP".
"Delimitation Commission has become the extension of BJP and has overlooked the criteria of population and acted as per the wishes. We don't trust it. Its recommendations are linked to abrogation of Article 370 and how to disempower people of J&K", she said.
NC, PC oppose Commission's report
National Conference's spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said that the "very existence of the Delimitation Commission is constitutionally suspect".
"Nevertheless, people deserve to get equal rights and representation. Unfortunately, it has not happened. The commission has completely ignored the important and only parameter of the population in the exercise," Dar said.
The People's Conference led by Sajad Lone said that the report has furthered the disempowerment of the people of J&K. "Delimitation report is a repeat of the past. Same traditional entities are calling the shots behind the scenes. Kashmir has been discriminated against as in the past. No change. Only the degree of disempowerment is greater," he said.
"Over the last six decades, Kashmir's share of assembly seats in the J&K assembly increased from 43 to 47 while Jammu's share rose from 30 to 43. Who is responsible for the systematic disempowerment of Kashmiris from 1947?", he asked.