Farooq Abdullah slams draft report of Delimitation Commission on J&K

SRINAGAR, Feb 5: Former chief minister Farooq Abdullah, who heads the National Conference, on Saturday slammed the draft report of the Delimitation Commission on Jammu and Kashmir, saying it “defies any and all logic” and no political, social and administrative reason can justify the recommendations.
Abdullah, who is Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar parliamentary seat, also made it clear that the party is now engaged in formulating a detailed response to this report and also exploring other options to challenge the entire process.
One of the five Associate members of the Commission, the NC leader said the report was received on Friday night and “I am in the process of reading it in detail. But from whatever I have seen, we at the National Conference completely reject this report.”
Abdullah, who has been the chief minister of the state thrice besides being a union minister, said, “There is no political, administrative and social logic that justifies these recommendations”.
He said that they were earlier told that the delimitation exercise was being undertaken to make assembly seats contiguous with the district.
“But the draft report is showing a different picture altogether.
“Like Anantnag Lok Sabha seat in South Kashmir will have six assembly seats from Rajouri and Poonch, which are part of Jammu division and located across Peerpanjal range,” Abdullah said and asked, “How is this inclined for providing better administration?”
Similarly, the way assembly constituencies have been carved out in which some have “completely disappeared defies any and all logic”.
In its report, the Delimitation Commission has proposed an overhaul of assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies which includes redrawing of the Anantnag Parliamentary seat by adding Rajouri and Poonch from the Jammu region, besides carrying out massive changes in the Kashmir division.
Many of the assembly seats in erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state have vanished that include Habba Kadal, a seat that was seen as a traditional bastion of migrant Kashmiri pandits.
Similarly, Budgam district, which had five assembly seats, was redrawn and merged with Baramulla Parliamentary constituency besides splitting of some of the areas and carving out new assembly seats like Kunzer in North Kashmir.
Pulwama, Tral and some areas of Shopian, which formed part of the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat, will now be part of the Srinagar Parliamentary seat.
The report was sent to the five associate members including Abdullah, Hasnain Masoodi and Akbar Lone (Lok Sabha MPs from the National Conference) and Jitendra Singh and Jugal Kishore (BJP MPs) on Friday.
They have been asked to submit their views by February 14 after which the report would be put in the public domain, officials said. (Agencies)