The J&K parties, including the National Conference (NC), the Peoples Conference (PC), the CPI(M) and the Congress, on Sunday expressed their dismay over the suggestions proposed in the interim report by the three-member J&K Delimitation Commission .
The People’s Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgam of J&K parties favouring pre-August 5, 2019 position, is convening a meeting on February 13 in Jammu to discuss the report, a day ahead ofthe NC submitting its objections to the panel on February 14.
Also read: Drawing a line: On J&K delimitation exercise
“The NC will not accept attempts to divide the people of J&K.The recommendations are bizarre. It’s a sheer mockery of universally accepted and constitutionally established norms of representation,”NC general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar said.Sajjad Gani Lone’s Peoples Conference said the exercise was an attempt to disempower and disenfranchise the people of Kashmir.
“The Commission’s refusal to change its earlier assertions is least surprising. To add salt to the wounds of the Kashmiris, we have a new wondrous invention in the form of a parliamentary constituency invented by merging two regions,south Kashmir and Rajouri. The inhabitants of these two regions have totally different aspirations, problems and challenges,” a PC spokesman said.He said even while redrawing the Assembly constituencies, there is a lot of invention and creation. “This whole exercise seems to be an exercise in disruption,” the PC said.
CPI(M) leader M.Y. Tarigami said the proposal was “incongruous with the Commission’s earlier argument of taking into account the topography and difficult terrain while re-mapping the poll constituencies”.
“The Anantnag-Rajouri parliamentary constituency is proposed comprising Rajouri and Poonch districts from the Jammu division, and Anantnag, Kulgam and parts of Shopian from Kashmir division. The fair-weather Mughal road connecting the districts of Poonch and Rajouri with Kulgam and Anantnag districts via Shopian remains shut for months together, making the border districts off-limits to the Valley.There is a general feeling that the Commission’s recommendations are in line with the current ruling dispensation,” Mr. Tarigami said.
‘Pitting people against each other’
Senior Congress leader Tariq Hameed Karra said the panel’s report “was a very successful exercise of pitting people against each other on religious and ethnic lines”.
“The report is an outcome of a nefarious design of disempowering a particular region and a sect of our pluralistic society. Carving out a geographically unnatural and linguistically divergent parliamentary constituency like Anantnag-Rajouri is a glaring example of that.”Jammu-based Ikk Jutt Jammu Party described the proposal to club “Muslim-majority districts of Jammu province with Muslim exclusive south Kashmir a decisive step towards implementing the Dixon Plan or Vajpayee-Musharraf formula or Greater Muslim Kashmir formula”.
“The Union government through the Commission is apparently spearheading this historical betrayal against the nation,” Ankur Sharma, president of the Ikk Jutt Jammu Party, said.