Jammu, July 08: A delegation of Apni Party leaders led by Vice President Choudhary Zulfikar Ali Thursday met the members of Delimitation Commission headed by Justice (retired) Ranjana Desai here in Jammu.
A party statement said that a memorandum was presented to the Commission among other things.
“It was emphasized and stressed on the Commission that the delay in initiating the political process and conducting the elections in the Union Territory of J&K is a blot on the Indian democracy as the people of erstwhile State are being deprived of their right to franchise since 2018,” the statement said.
“J&K is being run by bureaucrats and bureaucracy. The bureaucracy may be performing well but, in any democracy, the bureaucracy cannot be the substitute of democracy,” the delegation informed the Commission Members.
The Apni Party delegation further emphasized on the Delimitation Commission to expedite the process of delimiting the assembly constituencies of the erstwhile State at a faster pace by involving all the stakeholders and open for a wider deliberation, and discussion by visiting the remote areas, tehsil headquarters, and district headquarters to understand the topography, geography and composition of the population in the erstwhile State before taking a final decision on delimiting the constituencies.
They further stressed upon the Delimitation Commission to enhance the number of seats as mandated in the Reorganization Act, 2019 on the basis of population as population being one of the criteria for enhancing the seats, and seats be provided to those districts which are underrepresented till now, the statement said.
“In Jammu-Poonch Parliamentary segment, Rajouri-Poonch has 10 lakh population (which is remote border districts) and Jammu-Samba has 18.5 lakhs in comparison,” the delegation told the Commission and demanded creation of a Parliamentary seat for the Pirpanjal Region.
The delegation includes General Secretary, Vikram Malhotra, Provincial President, Jammu, Manjit Singh, Vice President, Jammu Province, Syed Asgar Ali, and Ex-MLA Haji Mumtaz Ahmed Khan called on the Commission on behalf of the Party.
APSCC demands justice for Sikhs in delimitation process
Srinagar, July 08: All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) Thursday impressed upon the Chairperson of Delimitation Commission, Justice (Retired) Ranjana Prakash Desai to deliver justice to the Sikh community and ensure that Sikhs get representation in the form of reservation in legislature of Jammu & Kashmir.
The demand was made by a delegation of APSCC members principal Naranjan Singh, Ajit Singh mastana, P.S. Bali and Indumeet Singh met the members of Delimitation Commission in Srinagar. The delegation led by APSCC Chairman, Jagmohan Singh Raina presented their point of view in a resolute manner and said that over the past seven decades or so the Sikhs of Jammu & Kashmir have been denied representation by the successive central and erstwhile state governments.
“Since you have been a judge and delivered justice to the deserving, time has come that you should do the same with the Sikhs living in Jammu & Kashmir. We have been denied representation in the legislature and it is due to this reason that the burning issues confronting the community have not been addressed so far,” said Raina while pleading the case of the community before Justice (Retd) Desai.
The APSCC Chairman said that politicians at the centre as well as in Jammu & Kashmir have ditched them and as such there in trust deficit. He said the members of the community have pinned their hopes on the Chairperson since she has been a judge and delivered justice to the people.
“We are living in a jungle without any political representation and a reservation for the community would go a long way in fulfilling the political aspirations of the community members. Neither the erstwhile state government nor the central government has ever thought of giving political representation to Sikhs in Jammu & Kashmir. Five seats; three in Jammu division and two in Kashmir valley should be reserved for Sikhs,” said Raina.
The APSCC Chairman said that Sikhs are living in scattered areas spread over 126 villages in Jammu & Kashmir. He said that once some seats are reserved for the community, Sikhs would be able to elect their own person who can then go on to project their demands and solve the burning issues confronting the community.
Raina said that minorities of Jammu & Kashmir should be given a chance to have a representation in the legislature adding that any formula based on population or area cannot be applied rigidly to every place. He said that APSCC will continue to fight for the rights of the Sikh community including political representation in the legislature.
The APSCC Chairman has appreciated the concern of former Sikh MLAs, MLCs and others including intelligentsia towards the issues of the community as a whole. He welcomed the move of these people to join hands and present the issues in a forceful manner. He said that unity among Sikhs would force the people at helm to reserve five seats; three in Jammu division and two in Kashmir.