The Delimitation Commission is going through the data of the electorates and has initiated the process of remarking parliamentary and assembly constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir.
For the first time in the history of Jammu and Kashmir, the Commission might reserve a good number of seats for the scheduled tribes (STs). The Commission headed by Retired Judge Ranjan Prakash Desai could also increase one or two for the scheduled castes (SCs). The Commission was constituted in March this year and hasn’t visited J&K since. However, it is analysing the data related to the area, operating from its New Delhi office.
The region of Kashmir has 46 seats while Jammu has 37 legislative assembly seats in the present time. After the reorganisation, seven seats could be added to the present 83 seats in Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory.
On March 6 this year, the Union Ministry for Law and Justice constituted the Commission to demarcate the constituencies of the newly formed Union Territory according to the provisions of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019 and Delimitation Act, 2002. Earlier, the former state of Jammu and Kashmir had 6 seats in the parliament and 87 in the assembly. After the bifurcation, the seats got reduced.
The last delimitation was carried out 25 years back in 1995. The process performed just one year before the 1996 assembly elections resulted in addition of five seats to Jammu, four seats to Kashmir and two seats to Ladakh. The delimitation increased the overall strength of the legislative assembly to 111 from 100. However, 24 of the 111 legislative assembly seats were left unoccupied as the proportional area was illegally occupied by Pakistan.
The delimitation commission is also remarking the number of seats in the four states of Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
The Delimitation Commission is set up under the provisions of the Delimitation Commission Act by the government of India. It is also known by the name of Boundary Commission of India. Its main purpose is to redraw the boundaries of the various Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies according to the latest numbers.