Delimitation of J&K – UPSC GS3

  • Delimitation Commission has completed the task of delimitation of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The J&K Delimitation Commission had recently proposed to increase six seats for the Jammu division and only one for the Kashmir division.
What are the issues associated with the recently concluded delimitation of J&K? 
  • Population base: This delimitation commission has  taken the 2011 Census as the basis for delimitation for J&K, however, in all other states, delimitation has been done on the basis of the 2001 census in accordance with the Delimitation Act of 2002.
  • Increase in the number of seats: Circumventing the Delimitation Act of 2002, the Union government increased the number of seats in the legislative assembly of J&K from 107 to 114 through the J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019.
  • Problem is that only the Delimitation Commission has the sole prerogative to decide on both these matters. 
  • Clause 8(b) of the Delimitation Act of 2002, mandates and empowers the Delimitation Commission to decide on the “the total number of seats to be assigned to the Legislative Assembly of each State and determine on the basis of the census figures”.
  • In the allocation proposed by the Commission, it gives 47% of the seats to Jammu which accounts for 44% of the population and 56% of the population living in Kashmir will have only a 52% share in the assembly.
Provision used by Delimitation Commission:
  • Factors other than population like physical features, boundaries of administrative units, public convenience can be taken into account for delimiting constituencies.
  • Instances of use of this Provision:
    • Uttarakhand had all hill districts with 20% less population than the districts in the plains in the 2008 delimitation.
    • Lakshadweep, which has one parliamentary constituency despite having a much smaller population.

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