EARLY TIMES REPORT
JAMMU, Jan 16: "The Kashmiri Pandits have the biggest stake in the delimitation process in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. They are the worst victims of gerrymandering in the world, executed in the Kashmir valley by all the Kashmir centric political parties", said Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, senior BJP and Kashmiri Pandit leader and Incharge, Deptt of Political Affairs and Feedback, J&K-BJP.
He was speaking in the Webinar organised by VASUK Group-Conferencing on the topic, "Kashmiri Pandits & Delimitation: Our Response". It was convened by Sandeep Kisroo, the Moderator of the Group, and was attended among others by Prof SK Raina, Jeevan Zutshi, Utpal Kaul, Yoginder Kaul, RK Mattoo, Vijay Kashkari, Virender Raina, Adv. Pulkit Chrungoo, Shivdass Raina, Ashok Chrungoo, Arvind Shah, Dr. M.K. Bharat, Sanjay Raina and Sameer Bhat.
Chrungoo in his presentation made it emphatically clear that the huge turn-out in the DDC elections is a clear signal of the urge of the people for peace, progress and development. "There has to be a forward march towards ending discrimination with the people of the UT through the intervention of the Delimitation Commission now". On an analysis of the election campaign, voting pattern and the election results, it is clear that the equal distribution of seats between both the Jammu and Kashmir regions has played a pivotal role in creating trust and satisfaction among the people of the Union Territory for the first time, politically speaking. There can't be two opinions about the facts of discrimination and bias against the region of Jammu in respect of delimitation earlier which allotted three seats to the Kashmir valley and two seats only to the Jammu region for the parliament in addition to giving 46 Assembly seats to Kashmir and 37 seats to Jammu division. This was and remains a violation of the fundamental rights in terms of equality and equal opportunities.
Utpal Kaul, Vijay Kashkari, R.K.Mattoo and Yoginder Kaul maintained that there was no member of the Pandit community in the all important Public Service Commission of the State/UT for the last one decade, there has not been even a single minister from them in the government for the last more than a decade, there is no possibility of being represented, for the indigenous people of the state, in the Parliament of the nation, neither is there any mechanism to nominate them to the important political positions either at the centre or in the UT.
Chrungoo further added, "A fervent appeal will be made to the Delimitation Commission to exercise its powers to send such an appropriate recommendation to the President and the government of India in order to settle the unsettled issue of politically important concern of the Pandit community. It will also help paving way for the resettlement of the community in the valley, eventually, as per their geo-political aspirations in the days to come".