Jammu’s subjugation to continue even post delimitation: Harsh

JKNPP Chairman Harsh Dev Singh addressing a public meeting in Chenani constituency.
JKNPP Chairman Harsh Dev Singh addressing a public meeting in Chenani constituency.

Excelsior Correspondent
UDHAMPUR, Dec 25: Alleging perpetuation of bias against Jammu region in the ongoing delimitation of Assembly constituencies in J&K, chairman JKNPP and former minister Harsh Dev Singh lambasted the Central Government and the delimitation commission for their discriminatory move against the marginalized province and sought equitable share for Jammu region in allocation of Assembly seats.
He was addressing public meetings in Sangote, Kharwa and lower Kud in Chenani constituency. Referring to the Draft Report of Delimitation Commission as circulated amongst the Associate members, Harsh Dev Singh said that it had paved the way for continued subjugation of Jammu region. Allocating 43 seats for Jammu region as against 47 seats proposed for Kashmir was wholly unjustified in view of the norms and criteria laid down in sec 60 of J&K Reorganization Act for delimiting the Assembly constituencies, said Singh.
Harsh pointed that even the Delimitation Commission had admitted that apart from population, the process of delimiting and redefining of the Assembly seats would be governed by geographical area, physical features, facilities of communication and public convenience. He said that out of the said factors it was only population factor which weighed in favour of Kashmir region with all other determinants making out a strong case for higher number of Assembly seats for Jammu region. “While the population of Kashmir region was merely 12% more than that of Jammu region, the geographical area of Jammu region was almost twice that of former,” he maintained.
“He said the average size of Assembly constituency in Kashmir was 346 sq km as against the average size of 710 sq km for an Assembly constituency in Jammu. Likewise, with a highly tough terrain, lack of communication facilities and public inconvenience due to huge size of Assembly constituencies, Jammu region was entitled to a higher number of seats as compared to Kashmir,” Singh said, adding, the BJP Government had once again chosen to continue with its appeasement policy for Kashmir and kept the Jammu seats lower than that of Kashmir.