New Delhi, Sept 15: BJP working president JP Nadda on Sunday said that elections will be held in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, but delimitation will be done before that. He also promised reservation of seats for both Gujjars and Bakarwals.
Speaking at a function in Thane, he said, "J&K has been made a Union Territory but they have been given the powers of a legislature. There will be elections, but before that, there will be delimitation." He continued, "Scheduled Tribe (ST) seats will be reserved for Gujjars and Bakarwals in both Valley and Jammu."
Delimitation is defined as the process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country or a province with a legislative body. In the case of J&K, it will likely begin November end and take around 14 months to complete.
The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly currently has 87 seats, which, as per the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019, will first be increased to 107 and then to 114. Of these 87 seats, Kashmir has 46 seats, Jammu has 37 and Ladakh, which is now a separate union territory, has the remaining four, will not be a part of the Assembly anymore.
24 seats of the Assembly are currently vacant as they lie in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and it is with regards to these seats that the process of delimitation is expected to be carried out.
The delimitation exercise will mainly focus on Jammu and Kashmir as Ladakh is a union territory without a legislature while the former has a legislature.
On August 6, a day after the Centre revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution and ended its statehood too, the Election Commission (EC), held an internal meeting to discuss delimitations to the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir which will have a Lieutenant Governor (L-G) after delimitation.