|Strangulating Jammu with vote|
|3733078 voters in Jammu, Udhampur and 2612298 voters in Baramulla, Srinagar|
|Early Times Report|
JAMMU, Apr 21: The charge of the people of Jammu province that Kashmir has more representation in the Lok Sabha and that they are under-represented in the country's highest law-making body is just well-founded but also very genuine. Similarly, their demand that the Lok Sabha constituencies be delimited as per the rules laid down by the J&K Representation of People's Act of 1957 and Indian Representation of People's Act so that they got due representation in this law-making body is also justifiable and well-founded. The demand appears all the more justifiable in the sense that those who delimited Lok Sabha constituencies in J&K made unjust, humiliating and invidious distinctions between the voters in Jammu province and Kashmir region.
Kashmir returns 3 members to the Lok Sabha and Jammu only two. Ladakh sends one member to the Lok Sabha. The land area of Jammu province is almost two-time that of Kashmir and the bulk of Jammu's land area if hilly, mountainous and inaccessible, even treacherous. It is over 26,292 square kilometers and Kashmir's land area is less than 15,953 square kilometers. Bulk of the Jammu's land area is inaccessible, and even treacherous as the region has a poor road network.
That the existing delimitation has given excessive and preponderant share of representation to Kashmir and left Jammu province high and dry could be seen from the figures released recently by the election authorities as far as Jammu and Udhampur parliamentary constituencies in Jammu province and Baramulla and Srinagar Lok Sabha constituencies in Kashmir province are concerned.
The Jammu-Poonch parliamentary constituency covers four districts of Samba, Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch and has 20 assembly segments. The number of voters is 20,47,299. In the 2014 General Elections, the number of voters in the Jammu-Poonch constituency was 18,48,155, an increase of 1,99, 144 voters in ten years. As for the Kathua, Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha Constituency that covers 6 districts of Kathua, Udhampur, Reasi, Doda, Kishtwar and Samba has 168577p registered voters. ,
As for the Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency in Kashmir, it covers just three districts of Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipora, one less than Jammu constituency, and has 12 assembly segments, 8 less as compared to Jammu. The number of voters in the Baramulla parliamentary constituency is 13,17,738 -- 7,29,561 less than the number of voters in the Jammu parliamentary constituency. In the 2014 general elections, the number of voters in this constituency was11,90,766. In other words, the number of voters in this constituency increased by 1,26, 972 voters in 10 years.
To be more precise, while the number of voters in the Jammu Lok Sabha constituency increased by 1,99,144 voters, the number of voters in the Bramulla constituency increased by 1,26,972 voters, a huge difference of 72,172 voters.
As far as the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency is concerned, it covers only 3 districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Gandarbal and has 12,94,560 registered voters - 3,91,219 voters less as compared to the Kathua-Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha constituency.
In other words, the number of voters in the Jammu's two Lok Sabha constituencies is 37,33,078 and the number of voters in the Kashmir's two constituencies - Baramulla and Srinagar - is 26,12,298 - a huge difference of 11,20,780 voters.
All these figures speak for themselves. It would be only desirable if the authorities look all these facts in the face and act to meet the genuine demand of the discriminated against people of Jammu province.