DELIMITATION IN J & K, WHY IT IS NECESSARY FOR ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS
JAMMU AND KASHMIR
Jammu & Kashmir was a former Indian state( now a UT) located at the northern top. It shares its boundary with Afghanistan, Pakistan and China. It was ruled by a Maharaja, when J & K was attacked by Pakistan, they wanted help from India. And, thus Maharaja signed the ‘instrument of Accession’ with India with certain concessions on 26 October 1947, and this special status is listed in Article 370 of Indian Constitution.
Then on 5th August 2019, the President of India announced the Constitution Order, 2019. This order abrogates the special status of J&K under the Article 370 and according to this order, the provisions of Indian constitution are now applicable in the State.
A separate bill- ‘Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill, 2019’ was introduced to divide the State into two Union Territories J&K(with legislature) and Ladakh(without legislature). After this, India has 28 states and 9 UTs. These two UTs were officially announced on the 144th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel on 31st October 2019.
DELIMITATION IN JAMMU AND KASHMIR
According to the Indian Express- “Delimitation is the act of redrawing boundaries of an Assembly or Lok Sabha seat to represent changes in population over time”.
Recently, ECI has had internal discussions about the delimitation of J&K constituencies ahead of the elections in the new UT of J&K.
According to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019 the number of seats in the legislative assembly has been increased from 107 to 114 in the new UT Jammu and Kashmir. In this reorganization, 24 seats are kept for the areas of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(POK), thus elections will be conducted for 90 seats. This act also confirms that delimitation will be done with Census 2011 till 2026.
HOW DELIMITATION WORKS?
Under Article 82, Parliament enacts a delimitation act after every Census.
Under Article 170, states are also divided in territorial constituencies as per delimitation act after every census.
The first delimitation was conducted by the President with the help of the election commission in 1950-51.
The first delimitation act was enacted in 1952.
There was no delimitation after 1981 and 1991.
DELIMITATION COMPOSITION AND FUNCTIONS
The delimitation commission was set up by the President of India in collaboration with Election Commision of India(ECI).
The Commission involves the Retired Supreme Court Judge, Chief election Commissioners, and respective state election commissioners.
To determine the number and boundaries of constituencies so that the population of all constituencies remains equal.
To identify seats reserved for Scheduled castes and Scheduled Tribes. No one can question the decisions of the delimitation commission, not even courts.
WHY DELIMITATION IS NEEDED?
1. The uneven growth of population in different constituencies in different parts of the country leads to delimitation.
2. Migration of people from rural areas to urban areas .
3. Population in every constituency remains almost the same.
PREVIOUS AMENDMENTS OF DELIMITATIONS
42nd Amendment of 1976- Froze the allocation of seats of Lok Sabha in each state and division of each state in different constituencies till the year 2000 on the basis of Census 1971.
84th Amendment of 2001- Ban of reallocation of 42nd Amendment was extended for another 25 years without affecting the total number of seats on the basis of Census 1971. But undertake readjustment and delimitation of territorial constituencies in the states on the basis of Census 1991.
87th Amendment of 2003- Delimitation of constituencies will be based on the Census of 2001 and not of 1991.