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Is it still a ‘No’ for de-freezing one-third seats reserved for PoJK?

Last Updated on July 8, 2021 at 5:15 pm

A plea by organizations of Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK) refugees, BJP and few other bodies for de-freezing one-third of 24 seats reserved for PoJK and allotting the same to the PoJK refugees settled in Jammu for more than 70 years has been made repeatedly.

The Delimitation Commission has ruled out de-freezing one-third of 24 seats reserved for Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK) for displaced persons of PoJK settled in India.

The Delimitation Commission clearly gave a reply to a PoJK refugee through the Right to Information Act (RTI).

“Twenty four seats in the Legislative Assembly of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir shall remain vacant and shall not be taken into account for reckoning the total membership of the Assembly. The said area and seats shall be excluded in delimiting the territorial constituencies as provided under Part V of the Act,” the Delimitation Commission said.

Thus the demand for de-freezing one-third of 24 seats reserved in J&K Assembly for PoJK for the displaced persons of PoJK settled in India can’t be approved.

It is pertinent to mention that when the State of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh, the former was left with 83 seats while Ladakh wasn’t granted the Legislature.

Number of seats previously in J&K was 111, 87 on which elections used to done and 24 for PoJK. When Ladakh became a separate UT, four Assembly seats of erstwhile Ladakh division were reduced, which brought seats in J&K to 83.

The delimitation commission is on a four-day visit from July 6 – 9 to meet government officials in J&K. Elections will be held only after process of delimitation of Assembly constituencies is completed.