January 2008 News

Kashmir To Table Delimitation Panel Bill In Assembly

10 January 2008

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government Thursday said it would initiate a bill in the ongoing budget session of the state legislature to set up a delimitation commission to raise by 25 percent the assembly seats from the existing 87. Health and Medical Education Minister Mangat Ram Sharma held out the assurance in the absence of Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and deputy Chief Minister Muzzaffar Hussain Baig. 'I have spoken to (Agriculture Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) legislature leader) Abdul Aziz Zargar and he has consented his party would support the government in bringing the bill,' Sharma said. Earlier, members of the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party, the Jammu State Morcha and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raised slogans in support of the demand to introduce the delimitation bill. The parties alleged that the government was backing out from its promise to set up a delimitation commission because of its discriminatory policies towards Jammu. 'All of them (ruling as well as opposition parties) from Kashmir wanted to perpetuate their supremacy on the people of Jammu region, against all norms of natural justice and democratic aspirations of the people,' Harshdev Singh, leader of the Panthers Party, told the house. The Congress party could not table the bill in the last budget session in view of the stiff opposition by the National Conference, PDP, Peoples Democratic Front and CPI-M and some independent members.

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