National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said his party would contest elections in Jammu and Kashmir whenever but criticized the ongoing delimitation exercise. He was speaking at his residence here after the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), comprising five mainstream political parties of Jammu and Kashmir, to discuss the outcome of the draft recommendations of the Delimitation Commission.
“We will contest the elections, no doubt about it. We are not going to run away from it, but these (the draft recommendation of the Delimitation Commission) are the things that pain us,” Abdullah told reporters.
He reiterated his charge that the abrogation of Article 370 by the Center in 2019 was exercised to benefit the BJP with the ultimate objective of legalizing it.
After the meeting, PAGD spokesperson MY Tarigami said they were not against the delimitation as it was due to take place in 2026, but said the ongoing exercise is “unconstitutional” as it is being done under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act which has been called for. The supreme has been challenged. Court by the constituents of the Coalition.
Referring to the abrogation of Article 370 and reorganization of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, Tarigami said, “Our stand is that what happened in Parliament on August 5 and 6, 2019 was unconstitutional.”
PAGD chief Abdullah said the BJP was hopeful that after the delimitation, it can win more seats in the assembly.
“They want to pass a resolution in the assembly that whatever they did in August 2019 has been accepted. I am sure they will take it to the Supreme Court and say it is done.
“Otherwise, what was the need for a delimitation commission here when it was agreed that in 2026 the entire country would have to undergo the exercise? Why was Jammu and Kashmir targeted?” he said.
The former chief minister said that elections are the cornerstone of democracy and “the first thing in a democratic situation is the Delimitation Commission report”.
“What they (Delimitation Commission) has done is very unfortunate… Look what they have done, I will tell you about one constituency Anantnag. How will the MPs elected from Rajouri take care of the areas on this side,” he said. How the MP elected from Anantnag or Anantnag will look after the areas of Poonch and Rajouri. This is just one example.”
Abdullah questioned the claim that the delimitation exercise was aimed at bringing people together and carving out constituencies in such a way that it is easy for people to present their cases.
“It does not appear that the Delimitation Commission has done so. It has further alienated the people,” he alleged.
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