Addl 6 Assembly seats be provided to Chenab belt, Pir Panjal, Kathua-Udh: Azad

Senior AICC leader Ghulam Nabi Azad addressing large public rally at Doda town on Monday. —Excelsior/Rafi Choudhary
Senior AICC leader Ghulam Nabi Azad addressing large public rally at Doda town on Monday. —Excelsior/Rafi Choudhary

‘Govt imposed tailor-made Delimitation Comm in J&K’

Gopal Sharma
DODA, Dec 20: Expressing hope that Delimitation Commission would do justice with the people on the basis of population and area, former Union Minister and senior All India Congress Committee leader Ghulam Nabi Azad today said that additional six Assembly seats of Jammu region be provided to Chenab and Pir Panjal regions besides Udhampur and Kathua districts.
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Talking to media-persons on the sidelines of a large rally at Doda town today, Azad said for any delimitation exercise apart from population, area is equally important parameter. He said there are three regions in Jammu Division including Chenab, Pir Panjal and Central region including Jammu-Udhampur and Kathua parts. There are several constituencies having areas ranging from 4000 sq km to 6000 sq km. There is no need to increase constituencies in major cities but many rural and remote areas of Chenab belt besides Pir Panjal region, and Udhampur-Kathua districts which are large in area need justice.
Azad said Scheduled Castes category has already been provided reservation in the Legislative Assembly and Scheduled Tribes are being accorded which is good move. But as far as the question of Assembly seats are concerned, the justice should be accorded to the rural and remote areas of the region including Chenab and Pir Panjal belts besides Kathua-Udhampur. He hoped that Delimitation condition would bind up its exercise shortly doing justice to these areas.
Launching scathing attack on Central Government, Azad said the present Delimitation Commission is ‘Tailor made’ of the ruling party. There is major flaw in it as opposition parties were not taken into confidence or given representation. He said for such exercise in the J&K, the local and national level political parties were used to be invited for their representation but this time only NC and BJP have been given representation leaving aside other parties. Only MPs was made the criteria.
Azad pointed out that those political parties having no MPs in Parliament from J&K, were not given space. Even Congress, PDP, NPP and other parties were not taken into confidence or given representation. This is also done for the first time. He said under such circumstances, who can expect a fair deal from the Commission. He hoped that representatives of NC and BJP may plead the case of other major parties in the proposed meeting on Delimitation Commission.
Earlier, addressing large gathering, Azad said in J&K people have very less agriculture land with them. Over 80 % area of J&K is under forests and mountains. On the left out areas, there is habitations, cities and towns, Govt offices, schools, colleges, hospital and roads etc. But unfortunately their lands are being snatched with a game plan. The houses of the poor people are being dismantled for constructing roads and other infrastructure.
On the false and hollow slogans and claims the UT was created. It was projected that after creating UT, massive development will take place in J&K. Huge investment will be witnessed. Youth would get a large number of job opportunities. But all the claims were found false and hollow. The people are losing jobs, land, business and many benefits. Unemployment in J&K has reached alarming situation. The people have been fed up and dejected.
Azad also referred to the strike of the Power employees and said that UT Administration is unable to handle the situation. The general public is suffering badly during these harsh winter days. Many other employees including daily wagers are on the roads but their voice is not being heard. The link between the Govt and the public is missing and only an elected popular Government is the solution of all the problems here, Azad maintained.
The AICC leader further demanded that Delimitation Commission should bind up its exercise shortly and Statehood be restored before holding Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
Senior party leaders GM Saroori, Abdul Majid Wani, Viqar Rasool, Naresh Gupta, Ashok Dogra and others also spoke on the occasion.