Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) on Tuesday said until the full statehood for Jammu and Kashmir was restored, there would be no meaning for the Delimitation Commission to undertake any exercise in the J&K.
However, the party said, it was incumbent upon the Delimitation Commission to conduct the exercise with “utmost integrity, in accordance with the established and time-tested principles and without a shade of bias and unfairness towards the ruling party at the Centre.”
This was stated by a six-member delegation of JKPCC headed by President Ghulam Ahmad Mir in a meeting with the Commission here.
Former JKPCC President Peerzada Mohd Sayeed, Senior Party Leader Bashir Ahmad Magrey, JKPCC General Secretary Surinder Singh Channi, Senior Leader Vinod Koul were part of the delegation.
Former Minister Taj Mohi U Din could not join Party delegation due to some health issues, JKPCC said in a statement.
The JKPCC submitted a memorandum to Delimitation Commission which reads that in the All-Party Meeting on June 24, the Prime Minister and Home Minister had assured adopting of a transparent method by the Delimitation Commission right from the State level to the Constituency level. “We accept this assurance in the spirit of restoration and strengthening of democratic structures in Jammu & Kashmir.”
The memorandum also reads that restoration of Statehood for Jammu & Kashmir is a “sine qua non” for conducting the Delimitation process.
“Until the full Statehood for Jammu & Kashmir as part of Union of India is restored, there would be no meaning for the Delimitation Commission to undertake any exercise,” the memorandum reads, adding, “Unfortunately, the meeting called by the Prime Minister gave no concrete assurance in this regard. This is an essential confidence building measure imperative for restoration of the democratic process in Jammu & Kashmir,” it said, adding, “May, we at INC point out that until the restoration of Statehood for J&K, as demanded in the CWC Resolution of 6th August 2019, is completed; the delimitation process commencement will be rendered nugatory.”
Congress party also told the Commission that the initiation of political and democratic dialogue in Jammu & Kashmir must begin with restoration of civil liberties of political parties and people.
“The unlawful detention of political leaders and their incarceration for long period without any charges is itself an anathema to the founding principles of democracy under our Constitution. The Government must initiate an exercise for undoing the shackles on democratic exercise of rights and end the incarceration of political leadership as a step towards strengthening of grassroot democracy in Jammu & Kashmir,” it said, adding, “Only then will the delimitation exercise shall have some meaning.”
The aspiration of people of Ladakh to determine their democratic foundations within the four corners of the Indian constitution must be severely respected, the party said.
“INC exhorts that the draft proposal prepared by the Commission be distributed/circulated among all the political parties for giving suggestions and submitting objections, if any, before the Commission,” the it said
“People of Jammu and Kashmir have grave apprehensions of preconceived political prejudice governing the Commission’s final recommendations with a view to give unfair and undue advantage to a particular political party and to the exclusion of democratic rights of the people for a just and amicable delimitation process and particularly to put the mainstream political parties in a disadvantageous position on account of innate unfairness,” it said.
The party said that it was incumbent upon the Delimitation Commission, which is a Constitutional body, “to stand by the test of equity, equality, fairness and transparency as per the mandate given to it by the Parliament of India and to conduct the delimitation exercise with utmost integrity, in accordance with the established and time-tested principles and without a shade of bias and unfairness towards the ruling party at the Centre.”
Finally, the party said, as per the established procedure and precedents, “we expect that the draft recommendations of the Commission would be shared with all the political parties for inviting their objections/suggestions with adequate notice and material.”
“INC assures the Commission of its cooperation with a view to restore full Statehood for Jammu & Kashmir, Party assure,” it concluded.