NC members participation in Delimitation Commission meeting would have given representation to J&K:  Ghulam Nabi Azad 

"By not participating they gave free space to BJP"

Srinagar, Feb 22 (KNS): Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and senior Congress leader, Ghulam Nabi Azad today suggested the partcipation of National Conference in Delimitation Commission process would have given representation to people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Talking exclusively to news agency "Kashmir News Service" (KNS), Azad said that the NC leaders should have participated in the delimitation meeting, however, they choose to boycott it, which is not a “good thing”.

He said that the National Conference has a majority as they have three parliament members and all of them were appointed as the members of the delimitation commission, which would have made “our case strong”, however, they choose to stay away.

Azad said that by participating in the meeting they would have put forth their views and arguments strongly as they have the majority, however, they choose otherwise. 

“Senior leader like Dr Farooq Abdullah, who is also part of the delimitation commission, would have made our case strong by participating in the meeting. By not participating in the meeting they gave free space to the BJP. Had they been present there they would have strongly opposed the BJP and put forth their arguments,” he said. 

He said that it was not understood as to why the NC leaders stayed away from the meeting and by not participating in the meeting they have given a “freehand” to the BJP, which is not a “good thing.” 

Interestingly, senior National Conference leader Justice Hasnain Masoodi on Sunday said that the whole delimitation exercise was “illegal” for them.

“The whole exercise is illegal for us. We cannot make our suggestions there. This exercise is against the constitutional provisions of democracy. Our participation would have amounted to accepting the whole illegal exercise. We have a clear stand that the whole thing is illegal,” he said.

Pertinently, the National Conference leaders Dr Farooq Abdullah, Mohammad Akbar Lone, Hasnain Masoodi – who skipped the meeting that was held on Thursday last week had informed Delimitation Commission chairperson Justice (Retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai in a letter about their inability to be present for the meeting.

The Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir held its first meeting on Thursday last week to seek suggestion/views on the process of delimitation in respect of the union territory.
Notably, the Centre constituted the Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir on March 6 last year to redraw Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies of the union territory under the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which bifurcated the state into union territories of J&K and Ladakh.

The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir came into being on October 31, 2019, after the state was reorganised. (KNS)

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