Earlier this month, the Election Commission had announced that the dates for Assembly polls will be announced after the conclusion of Amarnath Yatra.
The BJP unit of Jammu and Kashmir has sought fresh delimitation of Assembly constituencies, as per a report in The Indian Express.
The saffron party expressed its concerns over inequitable delimitation of constituencies by the previous National Conference governments in J&K – by favouring the Kashmir region, and doing "gross injustice" to Ladakh and Jammu regions.
A resolution taken by the party has demanded fresh delimitation of Assembly constituencies in the state, and asked for de-freezing of at least eight of the 24 seats which have been reserved for areas in PoK. "These Assembly seats shall be allotted to Jammu region, where people displaced from PoK have been living since 1947-48," the paper cited the resolution as saying.
The party's working committee has also demanded political reservation for Scheduled Tribes in the state. Bakarwals and Muslim Gujjars, who are identified as STs in J&K, predominantly inhabit areas in Pir Panjal and Chenab valley, besides Kashmir.
The BJP working committee also sought the abolition of the practice of Kashmiri Pandits having to fill 'M Form' for voting in the valley. Kashmiri Pandits also form a significant part of the population in the Valley.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir has a total of 111 Assembly seats. However, elections are held only in 87 constituencies. The remaining 24 constituencies have never voted as their area falls across the Line of Control. Their seats have been kept vacant, and the people of these areas reportedly vote from other areas.
BJP wants these people to be able to vote from their respective constituencies so as to enable the displaced people to have their own representatives and also strengthen India’s claim on PoK areas.
According to SOS International, in 1947, around three lakh people had moved to India's side of the LoC. The number has now reportedly increased to 12-13 lakh.
Jammu and Kashmir is currently under the President's Rule, which was warranted due to the expiration of the Governor's rule after the BJP-PDP government in the state fell apart last year.The Modi 2.0 Cabinet has approved the extension of President's Rule by another six months with effect from July 3. Earlier this month, the Election Commission had announced that the dates for Assembly polls will be announced after the conclusion of the Amarnath Yatra mid-August.The Great Diwali Discount!
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