Days after PM Modi’s discussion with Jammu and Kashmir leaders

New Delhi: The delimitation commission tasked with redrawing parliamentary and assemblies constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir is likely to hold an internal meeting at the Election Commission office in Delhi on Wednesday, said sources.

The meeting would be chaired by Justice Ranjana Desai (Retd), Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and will be attended by Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Electoral Officer along with other officials of the poll panel.

The commission is expected to finalise its plans after consultations with political parties soon.

Last week on June 23 the Election Commission held virtual discussions with its representatives in Jammu and Kashmir and deputy commissioners regarding the delimitation of the 90 Assembly constituencies in the Union Territory.

In the meeting, that was attended by 20 deputy commissioners from Jammu and Kashmir, administrative difficulties faced with respect to the assembly constituencies were discussed.

Voters’ adversities regarding assembly constituency that do not have exact geographical delineation were also discussed in the meeting.

This meeting was held a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s all-party meeting with leaders from Jammu and Kashmir where leaders discussed the re-starting of political activity in the Union Territory.

The three-member delimitation commission headed by retired Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai was set up in March 2020 for a year. Later, the panel got a one-year extension from the Central government on March 3, 2021, after it failed to complete its task last year.

The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019 notified by the government on August 9, 2019, paved the way for the creation of two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature and Ladakh, without it.

The Act provides that the number of seats in the legislative assembly of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir shall be increased from 107 to 114, and delimitation of the constituencies will be determined by the Election Commission.

Importantly a full meeting of the commission including the associate members’ Lok Sabha MPs from Jammu and Kashmir is likely to take place soon. It is likely that the date for such a meeting will be decided on Wednesday.