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Day 2—Delimitation panel interacts with pol leaders in Pahalgam

NC, Congress present memorandum; demand fair exercise for re-drawing boundaries of Assembly constituencies in J&K, BJP pitches for reservation for SC, ST; addition of one seat in Anantnag district

Srinagar, July 07, 2021: A day after the Delimitation Commission held deliberations with the political parties in Srinagar, the members of the panel Wednesday interacted with the members of the panel at Pahalgam in Southern district of Anangnag. The members from National Conference, Congress and other parties stressed on holding the delimitation exercise in a free and fair manner while BJP demanded reservation for SC and ST categories and the addition of one more seat from Annatnag district in the upcoming Assembly.

As per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the delimitation panel reached Pahalgam club to meet leaders from various political parties.  Majority of the leaders were district parties of political parties that met the delimitation panel.

From the National Conference, former legislator Altaf Ahmed Kaloo led the party delegation and interacted with the members of the delimitation commission. Talking to reporters, Kaloo said that the party supported the view point already presented before the commission by senior leaders in Srinagar. “We also presented the memorandum and urged the commission that it would have been better if J&K would have been granted full statehood before delimitation. Nonetheless, we urged the panel to conduct a delimitation exercise in a free and fair manner without any injustice to any district or area,” he said.

From the Congress, a delegation headed by Gulzar Ahmed Wani met the panel and said that they reiterated the memorandum submitted by the party chief in Srinagar to the commission. “Whatever apprehension people have, we apprised the commission about the same. We also stressed that statehood should be first restored so that J&K gets an elected government,” Wani told KNO.

J&K Apni Party General Secretary Rafi Ahmed Mir also led the delegation and put forth their point of view. “First of all, we were not expecting that there would be delimitation till 2026 as the exercise was frozen. But now that political developments have taken place, we decided not to stay away and put forth our point of view,” he said. “We stressed that whatever decision the commission would take should be in a transparent manner and if that happens, it would be a good Confidence Building Measure (CBM).”

Muhammad Rafiq Wani, BJP leader told reporters that they demanded one more additional seat to Anantnag district. “In Kulgam, there has been a great injustice with the district. The delimitation will be fair but yes, this delimitation will close the shops of many politicians,” he said, adding that BJP leaders demanded reservation for SC and ST category people.

Other delegations and leaders who met the panel in Pahalgam include Afzal Parray of CPI (M), Youth of Social and Vikas Foudnation Anantnag led by Munawar Ahmed, Chairman and Gojer Etihad Anantnag Haroon Khatana,  Pahari culture and welfare form Anantang led by Shareef Ahmed,  Sheikh-ul –Alam Turst Anant led by Bilal Ahmed Mir, Gujjer and Bakerwal conference J&K Muhammad Yaseen Poswal and Sikh Welfare Society Anantnag led by Mashoor Singh. The delimitation commission arrived in Srinagar on July 6 on a four-day visit to J&K. Sources said that the panel members will fly Thursday late afternoon—(KNO)

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