DELIMITATION OF J&K CONSTITUENCIES
What’s in news?
The Election Commission (EC) held its first meeting for the delimitation exercise, necessitated under the new Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act.
- The Jammu and Kashmir state was under President’s rule for the past few months. To end this, a fresh election was planned at the time of General Election which was held in April, 2019.
- But due to security issues and the inability of Central government to provide necessary Paramilitary forces to maintain law and order, the election was postponed.
- Now with the approval of new Jammu and Kashmir reorganisation act, 2019, the legislative constituency should be delimited, to endure that average number of voters in every constituency of the Union Territory.
- At the time, the EC internal discussions for fixing date for the assembly election of Jammu and Kashmir by around next year (2020) formal communication was awaited from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
- The delimitation exercise undertaken by the EC, with help from the Home Ministry, is the first step towards holding Assembly polls in the Union Territory.
- Previously, the old Assembly had a strength of 111 seats (again 24 kept aside for PoK) with four seats for Ladakh region.
- Now with the addition of seven extra seats will be an effective strength of the House as total seat raised to 114 seats, of which 24 have been kept aside for areas under Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). The new election will be conducted for remaining 90 seats.
- Matters to be concern:
- Reservation for SC/ST in seats: The delimitation exercise will also take into account reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as provided for under the Constitution
- People with no voting rights: A significant population of those who were displaced during Partition in 1947-48 and settled in Jammu, who have had no no voting rights so far in the Assembly polls.
What is delimitation?
- Delimitation means the drawing of boundaries of the various assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies based on a recent census. It is the process of allocation of number of Seats and their demarcation into territories.
- Under Article 82, the Parliament by law enacts a Delimitation Act after every census.
- After coming into force commencement of the Act, the Central Government constitutes a Delimitation Commission.
- Delimitation commissions have been set up four times in the past viz. 1952, 1963, 1973 and 2002 under Delimitation Commission acts of 1952, 1962, and 1972.
- The Commission is a high powered and an independent body whose orders cannot be challenged in any court of law.
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