UPSC Exam   »   J&K Delimitation Commission

The Editorial Analysis-Drawing a Line

Drawing a Line- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: Federalism- Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, Issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure.

The Editorial Analysis-Drawing a Line_40.1

 

Drawing a Line- Context

  • J&K Delimitation Commission in its report proposed remapping of Assembly constituencies in the Union Territory (UT).
  • This has got the entire spectrum of regional parties in the Kashmir Valley up in arms. At the core of their protest is the fear of a shift of political power to the Jammu region.

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Drawing a Line- J&K Delimitation Commission

  • Background: The J&K Delimitation Commission was constituted on March 6, 2020, by virtue of the Parliament Act under the provisions of Part V of the J&K Reorganization Act, 2019.
  • Mandate: J&K Delimitation Commission was mandated to redraw and delineate seven additional Assembly segments to the 83-member Legislative Assembly of the UT.

The Editorial Analysis- Thinking before Linking

 

Drawing a Line- Key Recommendation

  • Factors considered for additional constituencies-
    • Inadequate communication and
    • Lack of public conveniences due to their excessive remoteness or inhospitable conditions on the international border.
  • The J&K Delimitation Commission has suggested six additional Assembly segments in Jammu, from 37 to 43, and one in the Valley, from 46 to 47.
  • Reservation for SC/ST:
    • The J&K Delimitation Commission has suggested reserving seven seats for Scheduled Castes (Hindus) that mainly populate the Samba-Kathua-Jammu-Udhampur belt.
    • The commission, for the first time ever, has also earmarked nine seats for Scheduled Tribes.
    • This is likely to benefit the Rajouri-Poonch belt with the highest concentration of STs, mainly non-Kashmiri-speaking Muslims.

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Drawing a Line-Associated Concerns

  • Opposition from Local Political Parties: shift of political power to the Jammu region has led to protest by political parties.
    • Fear has grown especially after the reorganization of the erstwhile J&K State into two UTs and the controversial elimination of its special constitutional status in 2019.
  • Shift of Political Power: Proposed remapping of Assembly constituencies may result in the shift of political power from the Muslim region to the Hindu region.
  • Enhancing the share of Jammu: The allocation seems to enhance the electoral prospects of the Jammu-based parties at the cost of the Kashmir-based ones.
    • Valley parties have opposed the draft as “unacceptable” and “divisive” and question its legality.
  • Constitutional Validity: There is a national freeze on delimitation, and the constitutional challenge to the J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019, is still pending before the Supreme Court.

The Editorial Analysis – Age and Marriage

 

Drawing a Line- Conclusion

  • Continuing arbitrariness and heavy-handed measures to repurpose the politics of J&K may appear successful momentarily, but that may not be the sustainable route.
  • Government must adopt a democratic path driven by more conversations and accommodative measures with the ultimate goal of providing statehood to the J&K.

 

The Editorial Analysis- Wrong Forum

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