Delimitation Commission an independent body, follows certain norms, parameters: Dr Jitendra


NEW DELHI: Refuting the allegation in certain quarters that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to influence the Delimitation Commission to increase the number of seats in such a manner that it may give electoral advantage to BJP, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said here today that the Delimitation Commission is an independent body which follows certain norms and parameters in its working. It is, therefore, not only improper to make such an allegation but also a matter of impropriety to say so, he said.
In an exclusive interview to a national news agency on the eve of the tour of Jammu & Kashmir being undertaken by the members of the Delimitation Commission, Dr Jitendra Singh hit back at Congress and other opposition leaders who are trying to spread such false rumours. He said, it is, in fact, a reflection of their own condition of mind and the mindset with which they ruled the country for over six decades, when they were found interfering with the functioning of constitutional bodies like Election Commission and CBI. He said, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Central Government accords highest respect to the independence of these bodies and never seeks to intrude into their domain of working.
When asked to respond to a demand in certain political quarters that Assembly election should be held before the delimitation exercise, Dr Jitendra Singh explained that the case of Jammu & Kashmir is somewhat different from other States or Union Territories, in the sense that there has existed an anomaly in the number of seats which was not corrected over the years and the ruling parties in the past, which were mostly non-BJP parties, were accused of deliberately trying to delay the delimitation exercise for their electoral benefits. Therefore, he said, the delimitation exercise is meant to facilitate judicious representation to all the sections and all the regions in the Legislative Assembly.
When asked when the Assembly election will be held in Jammu & Kashmir, Dr Jitendra Singh said that it is for the Election Commission to decide. However, as a political party, he said, BJP is a 24x7x365 party and we are always ready for any election at any level, whether it is a Parliamentary election, Assembly election or a Local Body election.
When pointed out that several new groups were emerging on the political scene in Jammu & Kashmir, Dr Jitendra Singh said, this is nothing unusual. As and when an election announcement is made, even more groups or parties may emerge, which is a normal phenomenon. In fact, he said, that it is the beauty of a healthy democracy that everybody or anybody can aspire to try his luck in the elections, regardless of whether he succeeds or not.