National Conference President Farooq Abdullah on Friday said that his party will file a petition in the Supreme Court against the Delimitation Commission’s recommendations on new Assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir, PTI reported.

In a draft resolution presented earlier this week, the commission had proposeed six new Assembly seats for the Jammu region and one for Kashmir.

The National Conference and other regional parties such as the Peoples Democratic Party and Peoples Conference, have objected to the recommendations.

In an interview to PTI, Abdullah said that he had told the commission that the basis of the delimitation exercise was illegal as a petition filed by the National Conference against the bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories was pending in the Supreme Court.

The National Conference chief said that the Supreme Court’s decision on the matter will be binding on the Delimitation Commission also. He also noted that the commission had been formed after the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The provision was abrogated in August 2019, following which Jammu and Kashmir had been bifurcated.

Abdullah also responded to Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh’s statement that members of the National Conference members were satisfied about the delimitation exercise after a meeting with the commission.

“What did he [Singh] expect us to do? Fight?” Abdullah said, according to PTI. “We are not goondas [hooligans]. We have no voting rights, we can only listen and put our objections which they have allowed us to do.”

He added that the panel has asked his party to expressing its stand by December 31. Abdullah said that the National Conference will register its objections before the deadline.

Delimitation exercise

On February 17, 2020, the central government began the delimitation process – or redrawing boundaries – of Assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir. The number of seats in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly will go up from 107 to 114, and delimitation will provide for reserved seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah said on Monday the draft resolution of the Delimitation Commission was unacceptable, questioning why only one new seat was given to Kashmir.

“It is deeply disappointing that the commission appears to have allowed the political agenda of the BJP to dictate its recommendations rather than the data which should have been it’s only consideration,” he said in a tweet. “Contrary to the promised ‘scientific approach’ it’s a political approach.”