J&K delimitation draft triggers heavy row as Jammu gets 6 seats, Kashmir 1

J&K delimitation draft triggers heavy row as Jammu gets 6 seats, Kashmir 1

Delimitation of Jammu and Kashmir was ordered after the abrogation of Article 370. (file)


  • A big political controversy has erupted in Jammu and Kashmir regarding this proposal.
  • This proposal was rejected by all the political parties of Kashmir.
  • Delimitation is the redrawing of the boundaries of a constituency


A major political controversy has erupted in Jammu and Kashmir over a draft resolution suggesting six new legislative seats for Jammu and only one for Kashmir, a move that local parties have described as gerrymandering and Attempts have been made to skew the balance of power. State.

The draft was distributed by the Central government’s Delimitation Commission among five Jammu and Kashmir MPs, who are associate members of the body, during its meeting in New Delhi on Monday and all political parties in Kashmir terming it partisan and unacceptable.

National Conference president and MP Farooq Abdullah, who attended the meeting, confirmed the draft resolution and said the party would respond to it through a formal communique on December 31.

His son Omar Abdullah tweeted:

As per the mandate of the Commission, the delimitation exercise was based on the 2011 Census and population is the sole criterion for re-scheduling of assembly seats.

According to 2011 census, Kashmir has 15 lakh more population than Jammu – 68.8 lakh vs 53.5 lakh.

In the erstwhile state assembly, Jammu province had 37 seats, Kashmir had 46 seats and Ladakh had 4 seats.

Now, as per the draft resolution, there will be 47 seats in Kashmir and 43 in Jammu.

And once the new assembly constituencies are formed after the delimitation exercise, the population ratio of seats in Kashmir will be 1.46 lakh, while in Jammu province it is 1.25 lakh.

What is delimitation?

Delimitation is the redrawing of the boundaries of an assembly or a Lok Sabha constituency to reflect changes in the population of an area.

The Delimitation Commission is an independent body and executive and political parties cannot interfere in its functioning.

The commission is headed by a retired Supreme Court judge and consists of the Chief Election Commissioner or Election Commissioner and State Election Commissioners.

Five MPs from Jammu and Kashmir are associate members, but their recommendations are not binding on the commission.

Three National Conference MPs, including Farooq Abdullah, had boycotted the only meeting of the Delimitation Commission recently.

He has indicated that he will attend the meetings if the chairman of the commission addresses his concerns, as a matter is pending before the Supreme Court.

The National Conference and other parties have challenged the August 5 decision and the exercise of delimitation in the Supreme Court.

Delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir

Until it lost its special status, the delimitation of Lok Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir was governed by the Constitution of India and Assembly seats by the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution and the Jammu and Kashmir Representation of the People Act, 1957.

The last resettlement took place in 1995 and was based on the 1981 census. There was no census in the state in 1991. And after the 2001 census, the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly passed a law prohibiting delimitation until 2026.

What does this mean for Jammu and Kashmir

After the loss of special status, both Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha seats are to be demarcated under the Constitution of India. A new Delimitation Commission was constituted last year. It got an extension due to the Kovid crisis.

According to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act of 2019, the new legislature in Jammu and Kashmir will have 90 seats, seven more than the previous assembly, after fresh demarcation of constituencies.

Before 2019, the strength of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly was 87, which included four seats in Ladakh. 24 assembly seats are vacant as they fall under Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Why is it controversial?

Of the 87 seats, 46 are in Kashmir and 37 are in Jammu.

Since the delimitation is based on the census, many groups in Jammu are strongly opposing the delimitation based on the 2011 census. According to the 2011 census, the population of Kashmir is more than 68 lakhs as against 53 lakhs in Jammu. That is, Kashmir will get more seats according to the population ratio.

What about other states?

The last delimitation was in 1994-1995 when the former state was under President’s rule; The number of seats in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly was increased from 76 to 87. The seats in Jammu increased from 32 to 37 and in Kashmir from 42 to 46.

In 2002, on the heels of the NDA government at the Centre, the process was put on hold until 2026 by the National Conference government. It was decided by the Parliament that a Delimitation Commission would be set up after 2026 to decide on the rescheduling of Lok Sabha constituencies across the country.

When the limits are drawn again, the Lok Sabha is expected to go up from 543 to 888 seats. Rajya Sabha seats are expected to increase from 245 to 384.