The West Pakistani Refugees have continuously been exercising their franchise in the Parliamentary elections and elected their members of Parliament for the last over seven decades whileas being deprived of exercising their voting right in the J&K Assembly elections.
The BJP Government led by PM Modi made a historic decision for abrogation of Art .370 &35-A on August 5 , 2019 which made these people eligible to exercise their constitutional voting right which were not previously used to be . With the abrogation these people now have become eligible to elect their MLAs viz-a viz also to be elected to the State Assembly.
It is very much pertinent to mention here rather it is a known fact that as per data shown published in all the local papers claim that these West Pakistani Refugees are chunk of 80 % Scheduled Caste people and rest of the 20% people belong to other castes such as Choudhary , Brahmin , Mahajan and other backward classes .
The said data of their population is also lying with the committee / organisation of the West Pakistani Refugees already stand intimated to the Ministry Of Home Affairs that 80%of the Refugee population is Scheduled Castes . These West Pakistani Refugee population is spread over in Kathua , Hiranagar , Samba and along the border villages of the Tehsils of Suchetgarh, Chakroi , Arnia , RS Pura , Bishnah of Jammu district itself . These are the people who have been hit the most. The generation after generation suffered a lot. They had been waiting for the last 70 years that when will they become eligible rather to be treated as citizens of J&K State?
However, the Delimitation Commission as per its news item of the esteemed Daily Excelsior dated on 21/12/2021 proposes six more assembly segments for Jammu and one in Kashmir . It has got reserved 9 seats for Scheduled Tribes and 7 seats for Scheduled Castes whileas nil seat proposes for the most deserving people of West Pakistani Refugees whose population as said /shown published in the leading local/ regional papers is over 80% has thus been ignored and requires to be considered sympathetically as these hapless refugees are /would be ‘First Timer Voters’ to elect their representatives to the J&k Assembly and moreover they too to be got elected constitutionally for the first time .
Therefore, it is appealed, urged, entreated , to the Delimitation Commission to take cognizance of these West Pakistani Refugees’ and reserve some seats for them.
Tara Chand Bhagat
(Talab Tillo, Jammu)