The Centre on Monday began the process of delimitation of Assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, The Hindu reported. This move, which came six months after the Centre split Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories and scrapped its special constitutional status, is expected to pave the way for the Assembly elections.
Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora has named his deputy, Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra, his nominee to a proposed Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir, a spokesperson for the poll panel said. This was based on a request by the Department of Legislative Affairs of the Ministry of Law and Justice.
According to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which was passed by Parliament in August and came into effect in October, Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislative Assembly while the Union Territory of Ladakh will not. The reorganisation act had stipulated that the number of seats in the Jammu and Kashmir state Assembly will be raised from 107 to 114 and delimitation will provide for reserved seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
The delimitation commission will have three members – a serving or retired Supreme Court judge, who will also be the chairperson, the chief election commissioner or an election commissioner nominated by the chief, and the state election commissioner. The other two members of the panel have not yet been named.
The process is expected to take at least four months, according to The Times of India. After this, elections can take place in the Union Territory, which is currently under President’s Rule.