J&K Politicians to Protest Against Modi Gov't as Hindu-Majority Region Gets More Electoral Power

© AFP 2022 / SAJJAD HUSSAINFormer chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and president of People Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti (C) along with party leaders takes part in a protest against the abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and 35A and the killing of civilians, in New Delhi on December 6, 2021.
Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and president of People Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti (C) along with party leaders takes part in a protest against the abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and 35A and the killing of civilians, in New Delhi on December 6, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.12.2021
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The delimitation commission was established about six months after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led federal government abrogated Article 370 and revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status in August 2019. The reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir requires the delimitation process to be completed.
Several political parties from India's Jammu and Kashmir have called for a protest on 1 January against the "biased and divisive" distribution of seven new assembly seats in the union territory by the Narendra Modi-led federal government.
The People's Alliance of Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), a grouping of Jammu and Kashmir's political parties, on Tuesday unanimously supported the call and said it is "unsatisfied with the Delimitation Commission's expectations".
The delimitation commission constituted by the BJP government has proposed six additional assembly seats for the Jammu region and only one more seat for Kashmir, triggering widespread criticism from major political forces in the union territory.
Former Jammu and Kashmir State Chief Farooq Abdullah, a part of the Gupkar Alliance, said that the distribution of seats is "a step to create wedge on regional and community basis".
"This proposal is unacceptable to us as Kashmir deserves more seats than Jammu as per population", he said.
Sajjad Gani Lone, the Jammu & Kashmir People's Conference party chairman, on Monday, said the proposal "reeks of a bias".
On Monday, federal Minister Jitendra Singh, BJP parliamentarian Jugal Kishore Sharma, and the National Conference Party's Farooq Abdullah, Hasnain Masoodi, and Mohammad Akbar Lone held a meeting of the delimitation commission in Delhi. The politicians were informed about the panel's proposal.
The commission has asked the parliamentarians to respond to the proposal by 31 December.
If the present proposal by the delimitation commission comes into existence, the number of assembly seats in Jammu (a region dominated by Hindus) will jump from 37 to 43 and in Kashmir (dominated by Muslims) increase from 46 to 47.
On 17 Februar 2020, the federal government began the process of redrawing constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir. According to the proposal, the number of seats in the union territory will go up from 107 to 114, these seats mainly belong to Hindu regions.
Since 1995 the BJP has been raising the matter of under-representation of the Jammu region in the state legislature.
The Bharatiya Janata Party won 25 seats in the area during state assembly polls in 2014 and became part of the ruling government for the first time.
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