Peoples Democratic Party today shot a letter to the delimitation commission head telling him that contours and the outcome of the delimitation commission exercise is a pre-planned, mere formality, and the process is aimed at realizing the political vision of a "particular party" in J&K.
The PDP says the party has decided to stay away from this process and not be part of an exercise, the outcome of which is widely believed to be pre-planned, and which may further hurt the interests of our people.
In a letter to the head of the Delimitation Commission, Ranjana Prakash Desai, released shortly before he arrived here on Tuesday, the PDP said that the commission lacks the constitutional and legal mandate in the first place and its very existence and objectives have left every ordinary resident of Jammu and Kashmir with many questions.
“There are apprehensions that the delimitation exercise is part of the overall process of politically disempowerment of the people of J&K that the Government of India has embarked on,” the PDP says.
"At the very core of these apprehensions is the process through which the commission has been constituted and the fact that while the delimitation process across the country has been put on hold till 2026, J&K has been made an exception. There are apprehensions that the process is aimed at realizing the political vision of a particular political party in J&K wherein, like other things, the views and wishes of the people of J&K would be considered the least. It is a widespread belief that contours and outcome of the exercise hare pre-planned and the exercise per say is a mere formality. The very intent is under question," reads the letter.
"On 5th of August 2019, the constitutional and democratic values of our country were trampled upon with the people of Jammu & Kashmir being robbed of their legitimate constitutional and democratic rights by means of abrogation of Article 370 and 35 (A) of the Indian constitution, illegally and unconstitutionally," it reads.
The letter says the day also saw the people of J&K being humiliated and demeaned by downgrading and bifurcation of an almost 200-year-old state, an act, with no precedence in the Independent India.
"The Reorganization Act being a product of the same process, we are of the considered opinion that the Delimitation Commission lacks constitutional and legal mandate in the first place and its very existence and objectives have left every ordinary resident of J&K with many questions."
It reads that "Taking this opportunity, we would like to put on record that despite the utter humiliation of the people of J&K, undermining of our constitutional and democratic rights, vilification and incarceration of political leadership and ordinary citizens, when the Honorable Prime Minister convened an all-party meeting in New Delhi on 24th of June, we didn't let our hurt come in way of what could have been an initiation of a reconciliation process aimed at restoring the rights of people of J&K."
"Hence, we participated in the meeting. In the meeting, we emphasized the need to reach out to the people of J&K and suggested specific confidence-building measures that could lead to breaking the ice in the process of addressing the massive trust deficit between New Delhi and J&K."
"We are disappointed to see that after the all-party meeting nothing has moved and no effort has been made to bring ease into the lives of people, giving credence to those, who had in the first instance, called the meeting a mere photo opportunity."
"Leave aside acting on the suggested confidence-building measures, the Government of India has continued with its daily dictates to the people of J&K including the recent amendments and orders including those making every person a suspect (Govt employees antecedents verification order) and deepening the divide between two regions of J&K (the order related to Darbar move)."
The Delimitation Commission headed by Justice (Retired) Ranjana Prakash Desai, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra Sharma and State Election Commissioner (SEC) KK Sharma, are meeting political leaders here on July 6 and July 7. They will have detailed interaction with deputy commissioners of Kashmir at Pahalgam and Srinagar on July 7. The Commission will be in Jammu on July 8 for two days.
The political parties have been expressing fear that Delimitation Commission will act against the Muslim majority of J&K and convert into a political minority through gerrymandering of Muslim majority constituencies in Jammu, giving more seats to Jammu and reserving seats for special categories.
The delimitation commission was constituted on March 6, 2020, for a period of one year. However, it didn’t visit J&K since it was established. On March 4, the Union ministry of law and justice issued a notification extending the tenure of the commission by one year. The commission’s term was coming to end on March 5, 2021.