NPP protests outside Nirvachan Bhawan, seeks equal seats for Jammu and Kashmir regions

Jammu, 27-12-2021Demanding allocation of Assembly seats between Jammu and Kashmir regions on 50:50 basis, the activists of NPP led by Mr. Harsh Dev Singh Chairman JKNPP today held a massive protest demonstration outside Nirvachan Bhawan Jammu. The protesters raised slogans against BJP govt and Delimitation commission accusing them of perpetuating bias against the incarcerated land of Dogras which has continued to be deprived by successive regimes. The angry Panthers shouted slogans of “Jammu ke saath bhedbhav nahin sahenge”, “Jammu virodhi Bhajpa hai hai” and “Lekar rahenge apna haq.”

Seeking justice to the hitherto deprived Jammu region in the ongoing process of delimitation of assembly constituencies, Mr Harsh Dev Singh said that nothing short of equal seats for the region is acceptable. He said that the meeting of the delimitation commission with associate members held on December 20 was expected to end all political bias against Jammu region and provide justice to both regions by ensuring parity of assembly seats between the two provinces.“The primary objective behind delimitation of assembly constituencies being the rectification of political imbalance in the allocation of seats, it was expected that the sentiments of various aspirational groups would be duly addressed. The proposed allocation of 43 seats to Jammu region as against 47 for Kashmir had once again belied the expectations of Jammu region and exposed BJP for uts duplicity and double standards”, he said. Mr. Singh further sought allocation of atleast 5 Assembly seats to district Udhampur including a separate Assembly constituency for Pancheri, Lander, Bhamag area so as to satisfy the urges of people inhabiting this remotest belt.

                          Asserting that the delimitation exercise was governed mainly by the two factors namely population and geographical area, Mr Singh called for due weightage to each of the said determinants. While Kashmir region had a slightly higher population than Jammu region, the geographical area of the latter was almost twice that of the former. If we consider the population ratio of J&K excluding Ladakh as per 2011 census, Kashmir province has marginal edge of 12% over Jammu region but as far as Geographical area of J&K UT is concerned, Jammu province has 62% of the total area of J&K comprising rough and tough terrain with poor accessibility. Therefore, collating the statistical facts Jammu region deserved higher number of Assembly seats than Kashmir”, elucidated Harsh. He said that a deputation of NPP had very well apprised the Delimitation commission about the facts during its visit to J&K earlier this year. We had submitted the plea to the Commission that there should be at least parity between the Assembly seats of both the regions. Keeping this in view, out of proposed 90 Assembly seats to be reorganized, carved and recreated in the entire UT of J&K, 45 each should be allocated to both Jammu and Kashmir regions. Our plea and rationale were acknowledged and endorsed by the Delimitation commission as well. It must act and deliver now”, Harsh divulged.

Mr. Singh said that with 21 months already over since its constitution, the delimitation commission must commit itself for early completion of the exercise rather than merely flirting with the proposition without any tangible output as on date. The delimitation report should be immediately put in public domain. Any further delay would only help bolster the narrative that the delimitation commission and BJP govt are hand in glove in delaying and denying democracy in the erstwhile state of J&K, maintained Singh.

Prominent among those who participated in the protest included Rajesh Padgotra, Gagan Pratap, Purshotam Parihar, Surinder Chouhan, Mohinder Singh, Govind Ram and Raj Pratap Singh.