Emerging J&K: The new era of change
Post by on Friday, August 6, 2021
The all-party meeting held in New Delhi on invitation of the PM was a breakthrough political event of this year after abrogation of Article 370 in J&K. The central government ice breaking initiative for hearing voices of major political outfit is a welcome step for installing faith in dialogue & healthy democracy. The meeting was mainly focussed on conducting assembly election after Completion of delimitation process and giving status of State to Present J&K Union Territory. Though, it was already made clear by the Home Minister Amit Shah that J&K will regain state status with legislation while Laddakh will remain UT in his speech on 05th August 2019 in the Parliament.
Installing Faith in Participative Democracy
Previously, The Government of India had applied provision of constitutional 73rd Amendment Act which paved the way for a three-tier government in the Union Territory and boosted the grassroot democracy. The successful completion of participative and peaceful DDC & Panchayat election reflects the aspirations of the people of J&K. The political party who had opposed the abrogation of special status also took part in the local election and forged an alliance i.e. People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD). The Gupkar Alliance is led by dominant parties Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) & National Conference (NC), who ruled over the Jammu& Kashmir for decades. Pakistan fuelled Separatist Leaders had already lost their footprints In the Valley and were facing the existential crisis. The stone pelting incident reduced in the valley but emergence of UAV /Drones poses a new challenge for the security forces.
Need of Delimitation for Fair Representation
Though, Delimitation commissions have been set up four times in the past in country under Delimitation Commission Acts of 1952, 1962, 1972 and 2002.Earlier, the delimitation of Assembly seats of Jammu and Kashmir was governed separately by the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution and Jammu and Kashmir Representation of the People Act 1957.But the act became irrelevant after passage of The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 in the parliament. According to section 60 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, the number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir shall be increased from 107 to 114.Out of these 24 seats are in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The seats will go up from 83 to 90. The delimitation process has been in progress in the state since the constitution of the committee in March 2020. The delamination process is said to calibrate the balance between Jammu & Kashmir division. Earlier, Kashmir division had the upper hand over Jammu in terms of representation. Current delimitation process will ensure proper representation of both the divisions having 10 Districts each.
The pace of development is also expected to accelerate in coming years with focus on infrastructure, tourism, tap water connectivity to every household, youth employment, promotion of horticulture etc. The outreach programs like ‘Back to Village’ & ‘Awaam ki Awaaz’ are playing a vital role in reducing the gap between people and commoners. Recently launched ‘The Empowerment web portal & Property Management web portal’ are an important Initiative by J&K administration to bring transparency & accountability in Governance. These schemes can be an instrument for installing trust in the government which in turn boost up the constitutional democratic setup In Jammu & Kashmir. Latest released SDG INDIA INDEX DASHBOARD 2020-21 released by NITI Aayog categorises Jammu and Kashmir as front runner with good overall composite scores.
(Author is Ph.D. Research Scholar of Public Policy & Public Administration at Central University of Jammu)