PDP not to participate in the delimitation process in Jammu and Kashmir, says outcome is ‘pre-planned’

Published : July 06, 2021 15:54 IST

Mehbooba Mufti (left), president, the People’s Democratic Party and Farooq Abdullah, MP and president of the National Conference with others at a press conference in Srinagar on June 22. Photo: NISSAR AHMAD

 

The Mehbooba Mufti-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will not participate in the delimitation process in Jammu and Kashmir, a statement from the party said. A PDP statement issued today said that the party was disappointed with the June 24 meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir.

Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura, general secretary of the party, said in a letter addressed to the Chief Electoral Officer, Jammu and Kashmir: “Leave aside acting on suggested confidence-building measures, the Government of India has continued with its daily dictates to the people of J&K including the recent amendments and orders including those making every person a suspect and deepening the divide between the two regions.”.

The Delimitation Commission, headed by retired Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, arrived today in Srinagar to initiate discussions with political parties, public representatives and administration officials on redrawing boundaries of existing Assembly seats.

The PDP’s letter alleged that the outcome of the delimitation exercise is pre-planned. The PDP’s apprehensions are in sync with the public perception in the Kashmir valley that there is a design to allocate disproportionate constituencies to Hindu-dominated areas of Jammu. The PDP letter stated that it will “not be part of an exercise, the outcome of which is widely believed to be pre-planned and which may further hurt the interests of the people.”

It further said that the June 24 meeting was merely a photo opportunity since “no effort has been made to ease the lives of the people”.

In its first joint statement after the meeting with the Prime Minister in New Delhi on June 24, the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on July 5 said it was disappointed with the outcome. In the statement, the PAGD said that since restoration of statehood was the BJP’s commitment on the floor of Parliament, “any Assembly election must be held only after restoration of full statehood for Jammu and Kashmir. To this end, the PAGD has decided to reach out to other political parties in Jammu and Kashmir with a view to take a common position on the issue.”

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