Delimitation: Jammu and Kashmir preparing for a massive peaceful protest on January 1

In the wake of the proposed delimitation of assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir, the J&K based political parties are gearing up for a massive peaceful protest on January 1

Representative photo (Lal Chowk, Srinagar)
Representative photo (Lal Chowk, Srinagar)


In the wake of the proposed delimitation of assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir – wherein the Modi government has proposed six additional assembly seats for the Jammu region and only one more seat for Kashmir, the J&K based political parties are gearing up for a massive peaceful protest on Jan 1, NH has learned.

With the proposed addition, the total Assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir has risen to 90. While in Jammu, the number of seats has gone up to 43 from 37, in Kashmir region the number of seats has risen to 47. An additional 24 seats are proposed to be reserved for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

According to sources, People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) – an electoral alliance between the Jammu and Kashmir based parties aimed at restoring special status along with Article 35A – has decided that a peaceful protest would be held against the Modi government’s controversial move on the first day of the new year.

CPM leader Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami who was present at the meeting of the alliance held on Tuesday, confirmed the development and said that the idea is to highlight the “unfair treatment meted out to the people of Kashmir to fulfil BJP’s political agenda through the peaceful protest”.

The PAGD has termed the delimitation proposal as an attempt to “isolate” Jammu and Kashmir from Ladakh in a haste over several issues.

On the question of launching a mass movement in the line of victorious farmers’ protest, Trigami said, “As of now only a peaceful protest on January 1 has been decided. Decision on the mass movement will be taken after the January 1-protest.”

Jammu and Kashmir observers believe that the resentment is brewing up since the abrogation of the Article-370, and the mainstream political parties are testing the water before launching a mass movement against the Modi government.

Analysts feel that the proposed delimitation of assembly seats is a move to render established political parties such as National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) irrelevant in the state.

“It will diminish their (NC and PDP) role to a small player in the state politics,” said an observer.

Amid the accusation that the delimitation proposal is divisive, the government has set January 31 deadline to submit recommendations/reservations.

Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and NC leader, Farooq Abdullah will submit the objections/concerns before the Commission on behalf of Gupkar Alliance, said sources.

Notably, just days before the meeting of the PAGD, Sajjad Lone-led Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference (JKPC) pulled out of the alliance, attacking Abdullah for taking part in the delimitation process.

Terming the participation of the NC as a U turn, Lone, whose party JKPC was rumored to have reached an alliance with the ruling BJP refused the proposal calling it, “totally unacceptable.”

Reiterating that the delimitation should take place as per the nationwide census, Tarigami asked, “Why is the government in tearing hurry?”

“Since, the Constitutional validity of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 has been challenged in the Supreme Court…The government should show some patience,” Said Tarigami.

Tarigami had, in August this year filed a prayer, asking the apex court to hear the matter on priority basis.

In his petition, Tarigami had argued that the challenge to the constitutional validity “ought to be heard on an expedited basis otherwise the petition itself would be rendered infructuous in view of the irreversible actions of the Centre”.

There are over two dozen petitions pending before the apex court, challenging the validity of the J&K Reorganisation Act which divided the state into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

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