Pandits given reservation on religious lines: Alleges APSCC
‘Sikh community disenfranchised by successive central, JK govts’
Post by on Friday, July 22, 2022
Srinagar, July 21: The All-Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) Thursday criticized the Delimitation Commission for not providing any political reservation to the community by way of reservation of seats in the regional assembly, alleging that the reservation for the members of Kashmiri Pandit community was given on purely religious lines.
Speaking to a media conference here, the APSCC chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina said the delimitation commission has two major jobs – to give representation based on geography and population. “It was mandatory for the commission to discharge their duties while keeping geography and population of the region into account. They cannot ignore that”, Singh told reporters.
He said that the Sikh community has not been given any reservation. “The upcoming assembly polls in J&K will be futile if we are not given any political reservation,” he added.
Raina added that the Sikh community in Jammu and Kashmir constitutes a good population but the denial of any reservation for them was highly worrisome. “The delimitation commission bill, which has been tabled in Parliament where it needs to be passed, proposes reservation for Kashmiri Pandits only as a minority, even the Sikhs also constitute a good amount of population in J&K”, he added.
He appealed MPs to take the matter as “very sensitive” as no population can be ignored from political representation in the border regions of Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab. “They cannot ignore us. The MPs need to see to it clearly as J&K and Punjab are border regions and no population can be ignored from political reservation, otherwise the consequences will not be good”, he warned.
To a query, the Sikh leader said “we met the Delimitation Commission twice and put forth our demands but all our pleas fell on their deaf ears”.
“APSCC had demanded reservation of some seats in Jammu as well as in Kashmir divisions, but to our disappointment no seat has been reserved for the Sikhs, leaving the community disenfranchised”, he said.
“There are about 10 constituencies in J&K where the Sikhs form a good amount of population that can be a deciding factor for any candidate. However, we have been ignored this time as well which is worrisome and not good for the entire nation”, the Sikh leader said.
He appealed to the Sikhs living in different parts of the world to raise their voice against this “injustice”. “It is highly unfortunate that the voices of the community have not been heard by successive governments at the centre as well as in the J&K”, Raina said.