The delineation exercise in Jammu and Kashmir will be transparent in nature and there should be no fears and doubts, Justice (retired) Ranjana Prakash Desai said on Friday to allay fears among some political leaders and people that it is a pre-planned exercise based on the agenda of a political party.
Ms. Desai, who heads the Demarcation Commission, was on a four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir with her other members to gather first-hand information on how to conduct the mega-exercise to reform constituencies and form new ones in the union Area.
The commission said the exercise will be conducted according to the 2011 census and the 24 seats that will fall in Pakistani-occupied Kashmir (PoK) will remain vacant and not in preview.
“I assure you of myself and my colleagues that the exercise will be transparent in accordance with applicable law. I don’t think anyone should have such fears,” Justice Desai told reporters here.
She responded to a question about fears expressed by part of the political parties and people of Kashmir that it was a pre-planned exercise guided by a political party agenda.
“The exercise will be transparent and there should be no fears or doubts. We can only speak to those who wish to participate in the process. Those who don’t want to have their own choice, ”she said.
She said: “We are confident that we will do this job transparently and in accordance with the law. Otherwise we would not have come here and we would not have spent these days listening to everything.”
On another question about keeping the PDP out of their proceedings, she said the Commission wanted to participate. “All other parties participated,” she added.
The PDP, led by Mehbooba Mufti, stayed away from their trials, stating that the outcome of the trial was pre-planned.
Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra, who is also part of the commission, said they came here with an open mind.
“If we had something in mind and decided earlier, the commission would not have come here to hear from the people. We are very clear that nothing has been decided yet,” he said.
“Before we begin the exercise, we would like to get everyone’s views. Those fears should go away, if at all, for everyone, ”he said.
Mr Chandra said the draft prepared by the commission would be put in the public domain for objections and inquiries. You said the associate members of the commission would also be consulted in the preparation of the final draft.
He said the exercise of redrawing the constituencies of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly constituencies was “a very complex subject and not just arithmetic.”
When asked to thaw 24 PoK seats, he said that it was clearly stated in the law that these constituencies should remain unoccupied and should not be part of the delimitation commission’s preview.
A delegation from the BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir unit met with the demarcation commission on Thursday and called for the 24 seats falling in PoK to be thawed in order to give reservations to people displaced from PoK, Kashmir pandits, SCs and STs.
The Commission met with various delegations on July 6 and 7 in Kashmir and on July 8 and 9 in Jammu.
The Commission met over 290 delegations with over 800 people.
When asked if Jammu will get justice this time as it has been discriminated against in terms of political empowerment, Chandra said that Jammu and Kashmir are union territory for the commission.
“We see it as a unit. We don’t split between Kashmir and Jammu, ”he added.
He said the commission’s visit was to investigate the land realities. “It’s not an arithmetic exercise, it’s not a math exercise, it’s about knowing real public concerns, knowing real difficulties people face,” he said.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)