SRINAGAR: Former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti said on Tuesday that instead of allowing old wounds to heal, the Modi government was inflicting another emotional partition of Jammu and Kashmir.
Reacting to media reports that the Centre was contemplating fresh delimitation of Assembly seats to give better and proportionate representation to the Jammu region, Mufti said on her Twitter page: “Distressed to hear about plans to redraw Assembly constituencies in J&K.
“Forced delimitation is an obvious attempt to inflict another emotional partition of the state on communal lines. Instead of allowing old wounds to heal, GoI (Government of India) is inflicting pain on Kashmiris.”
Media reports said that Governor Satya Pal Malik, who has all the powers under the Constitution because the state is under President’s rule, was likely to form a delimitation commission that would recommend fresh delimitation of Assembly seats.
Former Chief Minister and BJP leader Kavinder Gupta has welcomed the move to give better representation to the Jammu region.
“Jammu region has more population and area when compared to the Valley. The delimitation was frozen by the National Conference to ensure that they have a political edge over the people of Jammu,” Gupta said.
At present the state Assembly has 87 seats — 46 in the Kashmir Valley, 37 in Jammu region and 4 in Ladakh region.
Under the constitution of the state, 24 seats are reserved for Pakistan-administered Kashmir which according to the state constitution is a part of Jammu and Kashmir.
Reports said the Jammu region was likely to get eight more Assembly seats, raising the number to 45, one less than the 46 the Kashmir Valley presently has.
The Kashmir Valley-centric political parties like PDP and National Conference are likely to strongly oppose the move to lift the freeze on delimitation of Assembly seats as both these parties have a majority of their followers in the Valley.