The delimitation commission has accepted some suggestions and rejected others submitted by associate members including the BJP and the National Conference and redrawn some of its draft proposals.
The associate members have been asked to submit their response by March 4 after which the final draft would be put in the public domain.
The government has extended term of the Delimitation Commission by two months and it has up to May 6 to submit its recommendations for delimitation of 90 Assembly constituencies in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It has already given 47 seats to Kashmir division and 43 to Jammu region.
Headed by Justice (Retired) Ranjana Prakash Desai, the Commission comprises Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra and State Election Commissioner (SEC) K.K. Sharma. It was set up on March 6, 2020.
Following the redrawn draft proposals, the commission has opened Poonch Assembly segment and instead reserved Rajouri for Scheduled Tribes (STs) and merged parts of RS Pura with Jammu South seat to rename it as RS Pura-JS (Jammu South) while restoring Suchetgarh and Habbakadal constituencies.
Suchetgarh has been reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs).
The commission has also redrawn boundaries of several other Assembly segments including Poonch, Mendhar, Surankote, Thanna Mandi, Rajouri, Banihal, Marh, Jammu North etc and reversed the name of Mughal Maidaan seat of Kishtwar as Inderwal.
Commission sources said that the BJP’s suggestion for inclusion of Shopian in Anantnag-Poonch Parliamentary constituency has been rejected. It has also rejected the NC objection to inclusion of Poonch district and parts of Rajouri district in South Kashmir Parliamentary segment.
The commission accepted the BJP suggestion for de-reservation of at least one Assembly seat in Poonch district as all three constituencies there were reserved for Scheduled Tribes. Poonch-Mandi constituency has been de-reserved and declared as a general seat.
In place of Poonch, Rajouri Main Assembly constituency has been reserved for the Scheduled Tribes (STs).
Now, five seats reserved for STs in Jammu region are Surankote and Mendhar in Poonch district and Rajouri, Darhal and Thanna Mandi in Rajouri district. Four seats are reserved for STs in Kashmir division, totaling nine.
The commission has restored Suchetgarh Assembly constituency in Jammu district which had been merged in RS Pura and Bishnah in the draft report submitted to five Associate Members on February 4.
Suchetgarh seat has been restored and reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs) in place of RS Pura.
Parts of RS Pura have been merged with Jammu South Assembly seat (earlier known as Gandhi Nagar or Cantonment) and the segment now has been renamed as RS Pura-Jammu South (RS Pura-JS).
Earlier, RS Pura was reserved for SCs. RS Pura-JS is now open seat and Suchetgarh is seventh constituency reserved for SCs. Six others are Marh, Akhnoor, Bishnah, Samba, Kathua South and Ramnagar.
Boundaries of Suchetgarh and RS Pura-JS have been readjusted by the Panel.
The Delimitation Commission is understood to have acceded to the suggestion of both National Conference and the BJP to restore Habbakadal Assembly constituency in Srinagar district which has sizeable electorates of Kashmiri Pandits and rename Mughal Maidaan seat in Kishtwar district as Inderwal.
The constituency was earlier also known as Inderwal and had been named as Mughal Maidaan in the draft report.
Kot Patwar Circle of Raipur Domana whose four Panchayats had been clubbed with Marh (SC Reserve) seat in the draft report have now been merged with Jammu North Assembly constituency.
Doongi, Suhana, Bagla and Fatehpur Panchayats which were part of newly created Thanna Mandi Assembly segment in Rajouri district have been clubbed with Rajouri Assembly seat as they were part of Rajouri tehsil.
Poonch Patwar Halqas of Mandi block which had been included in Surankote constituency in the draft report have again been made part of Poonch-Mandi segment. Similarly, some Halqas of Mendhar segment which were incorporated in Surankote have been reversed to Mendhar.
Sangaldan area has now been included in Banihal Assembly seat of Ramban district while Tangar belt of Banihal has been shifted to Ramban seat.
The Commission is likely to meet five Associate Members and brief them about their suggestions/objections which have been accepted or rejected.
After the meeting, the commission will put its report in public domain for inviting claims and objections.