Home minister Amit Shah has said that assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir will be conducted after the delimitation process is completed. However he linked holding of elections to normalisation of the situation in the Union territory, following which steps would be taken for restoration of statehood to J&K.
The Delimitation Commission for J&K in a draft has proposed 6 new seats for the Jammu region and one for the Kashmir region. If accepted, the number of assembly seats in the Jammu region will increase from 37 to 43, and that in Kashmir from 46 to 47. This will raise the number of assembly seats in J&K from 107 to 114.
The delimitation commission has not just gone by population criteria in earmarking constituencies but taken into account physical features, existing boundaries of administrative units, facility of communication and public convenience. The draft seeks to correct anomalies such as allocation of seats
Shah reminded of his assurance given in Parliament in this regard. “I had given assurance in Parliament that the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir will be restored. Once situation in Jammu and Kashmir becomes normal, the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir will be restored,” he said.
The home minister was virtually releasing India’s first “District Good Governance Index.”Shah warned people not to “fall into the traps” of those trying to subvert democratic processes and create confusion.
He said democracy has reached the lowest level of the society after implementation of the panchayati raj system and that is why some people are worried.
“To sustain the democracy, peace is necessary in Jammu and Kashmir. I want to appeal to the youths of Jammu and Kashmir not to get instigated by the statements of vested interests. I want to tell the youths to have faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have faith in Jammu and Kashmir administration,” he said.
He also tried to allay fears about residents losing land ownership following abrogation of Article 370.
“Those who are saying that the valley’s land will be usurped, they should be asked whose land has been taken away so far. By spreading such lies, they are trying to put barrier in the development of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Those who were saying that violence will enhance. They should be asked whether violence has gone up or reduced. They had said no investment will come, but the fact is that already Rs 12,000 crore investment has come. Tourists arrivals have also gone up and Jammu and Kashmir is matching towards development,” he said.He said he visited the affected building and also spoke to the residents, whom he assured to provide “complete assistance”. (KDC)