JKNPP demands equal number of Assembly seats for Jammu, Kashmir
6 January 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Strongly opposing Governmentís proposed bill to create 28 more seats in the Legislative Assembly by adopting method of proportionate increase of 25 per cent in all the three regions, Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) today floated a new formula of giving 52 seats each to Jammu and Kashmir regions and moved a private memberís bill in this regard. Talking to media-persons here this morning, supremo of the party, Prof Bhim Singh and MLA Harsh Dev Singh said that delimitation of the constituencies should be aimed at rectifying the political imbalance between the regions and not to further widen the gulf. The proposed bill to increase seats of the Lower House by adopting formula of 25 per cent proportionate increase will widen the regional imbalance and may lead to the division of the State, they said. 'We will strongly oppose the proposed bill on the floor of House and all the parties alleging discrimination with Jammu should support us', they said and added that this was a testing time for all the pro-Jammu parties. Disclosing partyís formula, Mr Harsh Dev said 'we have suggested increasing the strength of the House to 140 as against existing 111 with 52 seats each for Jammu and Kashmir regions, six for Ladakh and 30 for PoK. We have also suggested giving eight seats out of 30 reserved for PoK to those refugees from other side of the border, who have been settled in Jammu'. Although as per Representation of People Act of State Constitution, Jammu region should have more seats as against the Kashmir region but even then JKNPP has suggested equal seats for Kashmir and Jammu regions to remove the regional imbalance, the former Minister said. Terming the Roshni Act as anti-farmers, Mr Harsh Dev Singh demanded that agriculture land should be kept out of the purview of Roshni Act. 'If Government can give ownership rights to the farmers, who ploughed the private land under 'land for tillerí slogan then why cannot it give ownership rights to those, who have been ploughing Government land for the past 50 years', he argued. Instead of agriculture land, forest land should be brought under the purview of Roshni Act.