What is delimitation and why does the Central Government want to implement it in Jammu and Kashmir?

There are a total of 111 seats in the Jammu and Kashmir legislative Assembly. The Central Government wants to increase the number of assembly seats in the Jammu assembly region so that the dominance of the leaders of Kashmir region can be checked in the state assembly .The last delimitation in Kashmir was done in Jammu in 1995.
Aug 3, 2019 18:08 IST
Jammu & Kashmir Map not to scale

History of Delimitation in India

Delimitation Commission was first established in India in the year 1952. After this, Delimitation Commissions have been constituted in 1963,1973 and 2002. Delimitation Commission has not been formed after the year 2002 in India.

The Delimitation Commission was constituted on 12 July 2002 under the chairmanship of Justice Kuldeep Singh, a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India.

What are the features of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir?

The commission submitted the recommendations to the center in 2007, but its recommendations were ignored by the Central Government but after the intervention of the Supreme Court, recommendations were accepted in 2008. The Commission delimited the constituencies of the state on the basis of 2001 census.

According to Article 82 of the Indian Constitution, the central government can set up a delimitation commission after every 10 years.

There are 5 factors kept in mind while doing the delimitation:

1. Area

2. Population

3. Nature of the area

4. Communication facilities

5. Other reasons

Requirement of the delimitation in the Jammu and Kashmir State

According to the 2011 census, the population of Jammu division was about 54 lakh, which is 43% of the state's population. Jammu division is spread over 26,200 sq km I.e. about 26% area of the state falls under the Jammu division which represents 37 seats in the state assembly.

The population of Kashmir division is 68.88 lakh, which is 55% of the state's population. Area of Kashmir division is about 16% of the total area of the whole state. There are 46 legislators are elected from this region only.

This data shows that in Kashmir region an MLA is elected per 349 square kilometer while in jammu region an MLA represents the area of 710 square kilometer.

There are only 4 assembly seats in Ladakh division which is spread in 58.33% area of the state.
The above data shows that the distribution of the assembly seats in the Jammu and Kashmir region is not balanced. The central Government want wants to reduce this gap in the seat distribution.

Why Central Government want Delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir?

The Kashmir region is mainly dominated by the separatists leaders that is why these seats are won by the candidates either from National Conference Party or Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Due to the dominance of the separatists the state government is formed by these parties which don’t like Indian leadership and even Indian constitution. Now the present NDA government wants to change this scenario.

Now the Central Government wants to increase Lok Sabha and State Assembly seats in the Jammu region by subtracting assembly and Lok Sabha seats in Kashmir region, because the BJP has political mileage in the Jammu region only.

If the seats in the Jammu region increased, then the government sitting in the New Delhi will be able to make the Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir of its choice.

As a summary, it can be said that by doing the delimitation in Kashmir; the present NDA government will have chances to form a BJP supported Government in the state which would debilitate the grip of the separatists on the Kashmir Politics. It may ultimately accelerate development of the state.

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