SRINAGAR, February 25: The decision of government of India to link holding of Assembly elections with Delimitation process in Jammu and Kashmir is most bizarre as redrawing of the constituencies could have been done after holding the polls just like the Assam.
In Assam, the Election Commission first notified and then de-notified in the Delimitation process last year. This was done to ensure that Assembly elections in Assam which are scheduled to be held in next few weeks are held on time.
Why couldn’t the same logic apply to Jammu and Kashmir? Why weren’t Assembly elections held in J&K with Parliamentary elections in 2019 or since November 2018 when the Assembly was dissolved? Even the Constitution of India was amended twice; the 42nd Amendment in 1976 and the 84th Amendment in 2002 deferring the delimitation of constituencies till the first population census after 2026, i.e. effectively till 2031. By bypassing the Delimitation Act of 2002, in the case of J&K, the Delimitation Commission’s mandate has been severely compromised ab-initio.
J&K’s special unique situation was always an eyesore for the BJP and RSS. Holding of election, which is a universally acceptable principle, and the Constitution of India which says that the Assembly should be formed in time has been denied to the people of J&K since November 2018. Not only that not only the BJP government has failed to hold Assembly elections in J&K, it has also dismantled the entire state.
Before and after the abrogation of special status of J&K under Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two union territories in August 2019, the BJP leadership has been delaying the Assembly polls on one or the other pretext. Even in the Parliament, the BJP government several times claimed that the statehood will be restored to J&K, but these statements have remained elusive to papers only.
Legitimate Constitutional rights of people of Jammu and Kashmir are being denied.