Delimitation Comm should clear criteria for increasing seats: Azad

Senior AICC leader Ghulam Nabi Azad addressing public rally at Gool on Thursday. —Excelsior/Parvaz Mir
Senior AICC leader Ghulam Nabi Azad addressing public rally at Gool on Thursday. —Excelsior/Parvaz Mir

‘Remote areas of J&K remain neglected’
Excelsior Correspondent
GOOL (Ramban), Dec 23: Former J&K Chief Minister and senior Congress leader, Ghulam Nabi Azad today said that Delimitation Commission must explain the criteria adopted by it to increase assembly seats in the Jammu and Kashmir.
Talking to media-persons at the sidelines of a large public rally at Gool in Ramban district today, Azad said that population and area of the constituency is always considered as the main parameters for creating new Assembly segment. But here in J&K we are unable to understand which criteria has been adopted while increasing seven Assembly seats by the Commission in J&K.
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Azad pointed out that he can understand the reason behind increasing seats in Doda, Kishtwar, Rajouri or Udhampur, because they have large districts, but he was unable to understand the rationale behind increasing one seat in such a small district like Samba where two constituencies already exist. He said the proposal of the Commission regarding increasing seven including six in Jammu and one in Kashmir is facing strong opposition from several parties and groups. They must rethink over it and explain the criteria adopted while carrying out this exercise.
Earlier, addressing large gathering, Azad said hilly and remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir have remained totally neglected by the present regime. It appears that only cities and major towns have remained the priority of Governor and LG’s Administration. The far flung areas like Paddar, Marhwa Daccan in Kishtwar, Gool- Gulabgarh in Ramban, Keran, Kupwara, Tangdhar, Shopian in Kashmir, or other remote areas in Doda, Rajouri and Poonch have remained totally neglected.
The people in these areas are facing acute shortage of power and water supply. The condition of roads is worst. There are no doctors or proper health care facilities in the hospitals of these remote areas. The people are facing total neglect. There is no body to listen to their woes. The people are feeling dejected and neglected. They are missing a popular Government and their representatives.
Azad further said that J&K has been pushed about two decades back by the August 5, 2019 decision, when the erstwhile state was disbanded and its special status abrogated. The Government is Delhi wants to continue with the proxy rule in J&K and seems to be least interested in elections. But Congress Party would continue to exert pressure on Union Govt to hold assembly elections after winters.
AICC leader lashed out at the Government for its failure to carry out development activities, address the issue of increasing unemployment and arrest the rising prices of essential commodities. He said people across the country are suffering due to joblessness, inflation and poverty. He exhorted the people to reject those doing politics on the basis of religion and said Jammu and Kashmir and the entire country needs to get united to face bigger challenges like Corona, unemployment, corruption and inflation.
He alleged that the development is only confined to papers and loud slogans and the developmental works have stalled due to lack of work culture. He said no one is ready to listen protesting employees, daily wagers, poor people, traders, educated unemployed youth and those residing in the remote and far flung areas.
Azad referred to the developmental works done by Congress during his tenure as CM J&K. He said that there was equality and justice with all areas in developmental activities. There was trend of double and triple-shift and all the workers used to get job. He said as Chief Minister here, he worked 18 to 20 hours a day for the welfare of people. But now there is no work culture of double and triple-shifts.
Former ministers Ghulam Mohd Saroori, Jugal Kishore Sharma, Dr Manohar Lal Sharma, Ashok Dogra and Viqar Rasool also spoke on the occasion.