Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Delimitation ( 1995 ) for seats in J&K Assembly has been unfair to Poor & Backward area people by Daya Sagar

Delimitation ( 1995 ) for seats in J&K Assembly has been unfair to Poor & Backward area people 
by Daya Sagar

*( Daya Sagar is social activist and leading coloumist on Kashmir affairs. dayasagar@ yahoo.co.uk www.dayasagr.blogspot.com )



www.dayasagr.blogspot.com

Thursday, October 9, 2008
Delimitation ( 1995 ) for seats in J&K Assembly has been unfair to Poor & Backward area people
**Dear friend you will have some difficulty in receiving the data in tabular form due to the limitations of this _blog site _ . Regret inconvinience. .......daya sagar **
Areas of Doda Udhampur Kathua Rajouri very very unfairly. Their economy, development, education, tourism, horticulture , forest product industry and like has sufffered of neglect due to no rightful representation in the assembly as due under provisions of J&K Representation of the People Act 1957.

( This summary document was prepared by me in June 2007 based on the work done by me since 1991 on delimitation of single member segments in J&K Legislative Assembly keeping in view the requirements of J&K Representation of the people Act of 1957 and other issues like Wazir Commission report / reorganization of Revenue District units in J&K ( India ). I have observed that the people and even " experts " of J&K affairs in States other than J&K do not have adequate information with them. Most of then are under the influence of the leadership of Kashmir Region and have very less knowledge of the two other regions of Jammu and Ladakh although these regions are Senior partners to Kashmir Region. 

I happen to listen to a programme ( devil´s advocate ) on CNN/IBN on 24 Aug 2008 at 9pm where Karan Thapar was in conversation with Arun Jaitly. Karan Thapar touched delimitation / seats in Assembly also but it appeared that he had no knowledge of the J&K representation of people Act 1957 and carries the impression that only population is the parameter to decide delimitation of segments when ever needed.. There fore I felt it necessary to load this document on American chronicle to avoid confusions and loss to the people of J&K living in difficult areas. )WE should know our people, our area, our requirements and our rights before we make a common demand from the Government . 

No demand , what ever genuine it may be, can be secured unless we know our due and place the demand very closely and clearly. Let us know ourselves then only we can make those who disagree with us to agree with even our just views and requirements. If done so, even those who would lose in view of our demand would bear the loss as not undue.Section 50 of J&K Constitution has already provided 14 elected MLCs to Jammu Region as against 12 elected MLCs to Kashmir Region in the Legislative Council. 

Even under the present circumstances it was not possible for the leadership to justify more seats in Legislative Assembly to Kashmir Region when Jammu Region had constitutionally more elected seats in the Legislative Council than Kashmir Region. Justice K. K. Gupta Delimitation Commission had allocated 46 seats to Kashmir Region and only 37 seats to Jammu Region in total defiance to the provisions of J&K Representation of People Act 1957. It is a self speaking ground reality on the injustice done to the people of Jammu Region. Jammu Region has more elected MLCs than Kashmir Region but it has less elected MLAs than Kashmir Region. Jammu had 5 Districts and two Jagirs in Maharajas J&K and Kashmir Region had only 3 districts. Even before 1975 Jammu region had 5 districts and Kashmir region had only three districts. Wazir Commission had in 1984 recommended nine districts for Jammu region and seven for Kashmir Region. 

The neglected lands and ground data would surely roll tears from any watchful eye. Ghulam Nabi Azad need be given support by all to enable him undo the neglect metted to areas of Basoli/ Bani, Billawar, Akhnoor , Kishtwar, Doda, Rajouri and even may be Bhaderwah. Only then he could dare to order atleast 2 to 3 more new districts in Jammu region and also atleast one more in Ladakh region. Over the years demands have been made in isolated manner from different districts of Jammu region for undoing the injustice and neglect done over the years. One of the demands have been regarding more seats in the Legislative Assembly of J&K for Jammu region. We must clearly understand that the region wise allocation of seats in legislative assembly ( MLA ) is not done by the Legislature. The adjustment of seats with in the whole State of J&K has to be done by a Delimitation Commission. The Delimitation Commissions so far have not worked fairly with respect to the J&K Representation of the People Act 1957. In a democracy the Legislature could do any thing on the basis of numbers but the Legislature has to keep some moral/ ethics also. 

The J&K Legislature increased the seats in the Legislative Assembly by 11 i.e from 100 to 111 ( 20th Constitution Amendment of 1987 ) and also decided that there will be no more increase of seats till 2026 ( 29th Amendment Act of 2002 ). The seats were increased on the over all and not on regional basis by the Legislature and the delimitation of the single member assembly segments on the ground was done by the Delimitation Commission in 1995, though in defiance to the provisions of the J&K Representation of the People Act 1957.Surely further increasing the seats in Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir State will greatly benefit the people of far flung area. But the correct action would be to increase the seats by 25 % ( by modifying the 29th Constitutional amendment of 2002 ) on the over all and then let the New Delimitation Commission do a fair and just delimitation as per the conditions laid down by J&K Representation of People Act 1957. Total affective assembly seats will increase from 111 to 139 . Leaving 30 seats for POK. The remaining 109 seats could be distributed amongst Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions. 

Jammu region under the provisions of J&K Representation of People Act may get 57 to 58 seats and Kashmir region from 45 to 46 and Ladakh 5 to 6 ( distant difficult areas ).Media had reported on 6th January 2007 that the treasury benches were preparing to introduce 33rd Constitutional Amendment Bill in the Legislature in the session beginning 8 January for increasing the seats in the Legislative Assembly by 25 %. But it has been reported that even after increasing the seats in the legislative assembly, the present proportion of Seats for Jammu Region and that for Kashmir Region will remain the same i.e 37 : : 46. In other words the seats for Jammu Region will be increased from 37 to 46 ( 25 % increase ) and for Kashmir Region will be increased from 46 to 58 ( 25 % increase ) and for Ladakh region will increase from 4 to 5 ( 25 % increase ). Any such Bill that will divide the Legislative Assembly on Regional basis by amending Section-47 and Section- 48 of the J&K Constitution would be just like dividing the J&K State through a constitutional amendment . And if it has to be done then why not to operate upon the provisions of section -147 of J&K Constitution and even consider Trifurcation of the State of Jammu & Kashmir. It could be easily said for the sake of a logic.

Any increase of number of MLAs on Regional basis through an amendment bill in Legislature would be like a Regional Delimitation done by the Legislature itself. This will be against the basic spirit and provisions in the Constitution. Some may argue that Section 48 of the Constitution has also laid a similar provision in the constitution keeping 24 seats for POK out of the total seats. But this provision can not be quoted here to justify the illogical proposals being prepared for pushing them in to fix the position of Jammu Region at level two ( 2 ) and that of Kashmir Region at level one ( I ) in the J&K Legislature for ever. The truthful and true proposal would be to increase the total seats by 25% and then do the fresh delimitation. Increase the seats in Legislative Assembly by 25 % on the overall i.e from 111 to 139.The J&K Representation of People Act 1957 was designed by its authors in a very very special manner . It has been designed more seriously than 1950 Representation of People Act for the Parliament and State Legislatures. It could well be seen from the contents of clauses a ( i) to a (v) of Sub Section ( 2) of section- (4) of the J&K RPA 1957. Under the J&K RPA of 1957 a Delimitation Commission has to readjust the extent and boundaries of the Assembly Constituencies ( Section-4 sub section-1 Clause-a ) ; determine the number of seats in Legislative assembly to be reserved for SC ( Section-4, Sub section-I Clause-b ) ; distribute the seats in the Legislative assembly to s ingle member territorial constituencies and delimit them having due regards as far as practicable to requirements as laid down in Section-4 sub Section-2. Hence it is the Delimitation Commission that has to readjust the extent and boundaries of the Legislative Assembly Constituencies ( Section-4 sub section-1 Clause-a ) and distribute the seats in the Legislative assembly to single member territorial constituencies ; and it is not the Legislative Assembly that has to do such distribution. Democracy through Parliament & State Legislature is the ESSENCE of the Pledge laid in the Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir . 

In view of larger distances and difficult terrains the MLAs are not able to regularly reach their people. So far a Representative of nearness has been denied to the people of the backward/ far flung areas by the Delimitation Commissions of the past years. The areas with lesser means of communication/ connectivity have been given unfair treatment. More particularly DODA, Udhampur and Kathua districts have been more unfairly treated. The people of DODA, Udhampur, Kathua and Rajouri / Poonch have suffered the most over the years .The people of Kupwara , Baramulla and Kargil too have suffered. The areas of comparatively lesser geographical compactness fall more in Jammu Region than they fall in Kashmir Region. ¬¬¬Recently some leaders from Jammu have demanded for raising the assembly seats for Jammu Division and reducing some seats of Kashmir division . But they have not been serious about the cause since they have demanded that number of MLAs for Jammu Region and Kashmir Region be kept equal.. 

They have not dared to demand legitimate share of seats (more seats ) for Jammu Region as would become due in view of the provisions of J&K Representation of People Act. A fair application of norms would surely tilt the balance in favour of Jammu Region in Legislative Assembly.Demands for fresh delimitation of Assembly Segments had been made at occasions, more particularly by the people from Jammu region. Kashmir Region had been given more seats than Jammu Region where as the people from Jammu Region feel that Kashmir region share should be less .But the mind set of the leadership from Jammu so far has been that they do not dare to demand more seats for Jammu as compared to Kashmir. Bhartiya Janta Party did demand till 1994 some more seats for Jammu but the number demanded earlier was always 38 to 39 out of 87. Recently some upward revision has been made by BJP. Recently J&K Cabinet decided that the seats in the legislative assembly be increased by 25 % over and above the number of seats that are presently in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions. The proposals are not constitutionally honest. Still some leaders have instead of rejecting the proposals for region wise increase have demanded that the number of seats in assembly for Jammu region and Kashmir Region should be same. The number has been suggested by some leaders as 52 seats for Jammu Region and 52 seats for Kashmir Region. Where as the demand has to be that there should be fair and true distribution. What ever is the share under the J&K Representation of People Act ( Act No. IV of 1957 ) that should be given to each area and region. Let it be more or less. Ofcourse as per the provisions of the Act Assembly Seats that would fall in Jammu region would be much more than Kashmir region.Section -50 of J&K Constitution did keep 14 ( MLC ) elected members in Legislative Council from Jammu Region and only 12 (MLC) elected members in Legislative Council from Kashmir Region. Section - 47 of J&K Constitution did not set such criteria as regards the Members in the Legislative Assembly. In view of the fact that there are more elected seats ( MLCs) in Legislative Council for Jammu Region the seats in the Legislative Assembly should also be more for Jammu Region as compared to Kashmir region. Where as in total disregard to spirit and provisions under lying the Constitution of J&K Justice K. K. Gupta Delimitation Commission had ordered on 27-04-1995 37 MLAs for Jammu Region and 46 MLAs for Kashmir Region out of 87 Seats in Assembly. Had the delimitation been truly done as per the Act , there should have been 46 seats for Jammu and 37 MLAs for Kashmir region. And ofcourse incase any amendment to Section 47 Sub Section -I of J&K Constitution is made to increase the number of total seats in the Legislative Assembly by 25 % i.e from 111 to 139 ( 30 seats for POK under Section - 48 of J&K Constitution and 109 seats for this side of J&K ) it has to be on total basis and not regional basis. A rational delimitation would then allocate 57 to 58 MLAs to Jammu Region and 46 to 47 MLAs for Kashmir region and 5 to 6 for Leh and Kargil. A detailed exercise for distribution of seats as per the requirement of J&K Representation of People Act has been presented by me as far back as 1992/1993 , much before Justice K. K. Gupta Delimitation Commission submitted the delimitation report in 1995 on the basis of which the present strength of the Legislature has been drawn. DODA, Udhampur and Kathua districts have been unfairly treated.The J&K Representation of People Act 1957 was designed by its authors very logistically and scientifically. A lot of social science was applied while framing the Act But spirit of the Act and Constitution of J&K have been violated by all the Delimitation Commissions so far constituted for the delimitation of single member assembly segments of J&K Legislative. rs. A representative of nearness to the people of the backward/ far flung areas is what the J&K Representation of People Act 1957 had aimed at. But fair treatment to those from areas with lesser means of communication/ connectivity has been denied so far. And to be more particular people living in areas of lesser geographical compactness have been so far denied adequate number of MLAs in the J&K Legislative Assembly. The result has been that the miseries, backwardness, illiteracy, poverty and ill health of the poor and backward area people has not been honestly medicated over last 50 years. 

The relative backwardness has grown. It is only due to this reason that people of farflung areas have suffered the most due to militancy. In view of larger distances and difficult terrains the MLAs are not able to frequently reach the needy of their constituency. The monitoring of development programmes too has hence suffered. MLAs find it difficult to timely address to the problems of those who fall in their constituencies. The people of DODA, Udhampur, Kathua and Rajouri / Poonch have suffered the most over the years The people of Kupwara , Baramulla and Kargil too have suffered. A fair trial under J&K Representation of People Act will give more MLAs to Jammu Region as compared to Kashmir Region. Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad as Chief Minister of J&K has given a District Head Quarter to common man more nearer to his home from April 2007 onwards. Hope he and the Governments that may follow him could also give a MLA to people living in remote areas more near ( as far as possible ) to their home. With the announcement made in July 2006 by Sh Ghulam Nabi Azad that a new Delimitation Commission will be appointed for a fresh Delimitation of seats in the Legislative Assembly, great hopes have been set that the injustice done earlier may be undone by the new Delimitation Commission. But another announcement made simultaneously that Government proposes to increase the existing number of seats ( MLAs) in the Legislative Assembly by 25 % for Jammu and 25% for Kashmir carried the issue in wrong directions. Ofcourse this could be done by an amendment to Section 48 of the Constitution of J&K .Increase in number of MLAs would surely benefit the common man since the MLA will have lesser area to cover. 

But the approach for increasing the seats is fair. The reports did not say that the number of seats on the over all in the assembly will be increases by 25 % i.e present number of 83 seats for Jammu and Kashmir regions will be increased from 87 to 109 and then delimitation would be done. Where as the reports were that present number of seats with Jammu region and that with Kashmir Region would be individually increased by 25 % and then Delimitation within the regions will be done. This means the seats for Jammu Region will be increased from 37 to 46 and for Kashmir Region Seats will increase from 46 to 58. Where as if a scientific honest exercise is done by any Delimitation Commission the number of seats for Jammu Region would be 57 to 58 and for Kashmir Region would be 46 to 47. 

And ofcourse for Ladakh region seats on the same basis will increase from 4 to 6. In other words the game plan appeared that the seats for three regions of J&K will be first fixed for all times to come and then the delimitation would be done with in a region. In Legislative Assembly the Kashmir Centric views would always then prevail over the interests of the people of Jammu region for development and governance. Ofcourse Jammu Region has more elected Members in Legislative Council ( 14 ) than Kashmir Region ( 12 ) but the opinion of Legislative Council ( MLCs) can not finally prevail upon the decision of Legislative Assembly ( MLAs) .The proposed scheme if gets through will be totally against the spirit of the J&K Representation of People Act 1957 and will be against the Unitary spirit of the Constitution of J&K. No doubt under the present low level of political consciousness even irrational amendments (like allocating 37 plus 25% MLAs for Jammu Region and 46 plus 25% MLAs for Kashmir Region ) to Section 47 and Section 48 of J&K Constitution could be moved and passed in the Assembly by majority Vote. But if it happens such vote will violate the spirit of Constitution of J&K . There for the awareness to the common cause is must.A minimum knowledge about some sections of J&K Constitution:WE need to closely understand the provisions in the J&K Constitution as laid in section -47, Section- 48 and section -50. . 

As per Section-46 -There shall be a Legislature for the State which shall consist of the Governor and two Houses to be known respectively as the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council. 47. Composition of Legislative Assembly. –(1) The Legislative Assembly shall consist of [one hundred and eleven] members chosen by direct election from territorial constituencies in the State: Provided that the Governor may if he is of opinion that women are not adequately represented in the Assembly, nominate not more than two women to be members thereof.[(2) For the purposes of sub-section (1), the State shall be divided into single member territorial constituencies by such authority and in such manner as the Legislature may by law determine.(3) Upon the completion of each census, the number, extent and boundaries of the territorial constituencies shall be readjusted by such authority and in such manner as the Legislature may by jaw determine : Provided that such readjustment shall not effect representation in the Legislative Assembly until the dissolution of the then existing Assembly: [Provided that until the relevant figures for tile first census taken after the year 2026 have been published, it shall not be necessary to readjust the total number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of the State and - the- division of the State into territorial constituencies under this sub-section. (3. Inserted by the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir (Twenty-ninth Amendment) Act, 2002, ) . Section 48. Provision relating to Pakistan- occupied territory.- Notwithstanding anything contained in section 47, until the area of the State under the occupation of Pakistan ceases to be, so occupied and the people residing in that area elect their representatives (a) [twenty-four seats] in the Legislative Assembly shall remain vacant and shall not be taken into account for reckoning the total membership of the Assembly; and (b) the said area shall be excluded in delimiting the territorial constituencies under section 47. Section-50. 

Composition of Legislative Council.-

(1) Legislative Council shall consist of thirty-six members, chosen in the manner provided in this section. 

(2) Eleven members shall be elected by the members of the Legislative Assembly from amongst persons who are residents of the Province of Kashmir and are not members of the Legislative Assembly: Provided that of the members so elected, at least one shall be a resident of Tehsil Ladakh and at least one shall be a resident of Tehsil Kargil. 

(3) Eleven members shall be elected by the members of the Legislative Assembly from amongst persons who are residents of the Province of Jammu and are not members of the Legislative Assembly: Provided that of the members so elected, at least one shall be a resident of Doda District and at least one shall be a resident of Poonch District. 

(4) one member shall be elected by each of the following electorates, namely (a) the members of municipal council, town area committees and notified area committees in the Province of Kashmir; (b) the members of municipal council, town area committees and notified area committees in the province of Jammu; 

(5) Two members shall be elected by each of the following electorates, namely (a)the members of the Panchayats and such other local bodies in the Province of Kashmir as the Governor may by order specify; (b) the members of the Panchayats and such other local bodies in the Province of Jammu as the Governor may by order specify. 

(6) [Eight] members shall be nominated by the *Governor, not more than three of whom shall be persons belonging to any of the socially or economically backward classes in the State, and the others shall be persons having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of matters such as literature, science, art, co-operative movement and social service. 

(7) Elections under sub-sections (2) and (3) shall be held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.A very very special Act :Preamble of J&K Constitution secures to self EQUALITY of status and opportunity : JUSTICE social, economic & political. Democracy through Parliament & State Legislature is the ESSENCE of the Pledge laid in the Constitution. For accomplishment of the objectives, a representative of nearness in J&K Legislature could only ensure the pledge. 

The J&K Representation of People Act 1957 was designed in a very very special manner could well be seen from the contents of its clauses a ( i) to a (v) of Sub Section ( 2) of section- (4) of this Act. But unfortunately the spirit of the Act and Constitution have been violated over the years. The representative of nearness to the people of the backward/ far flung areas, to those from areas with lesser means of communication/ connectivity and comparatively lesser geographical compactness has been denied in the Legislative Assembly.The miseries, backwardness, illiteracy, poverty and ill health has grown in the farflung areas of J&K. In view of larger distances and difficult terrains the MLAs are not able to regularly reach their areas to check the development requirements and also to address to the problems of those who fall in their constituencies. A summary on the vital statistics of J&K and the like rational Delimitation i.e distribution of single member Assembly Segments in Legislature is being given here. Effort has been made to communicate through a set of speaking data. Efforts need be made to generate genuine public pressures and get the corrections made. An exercise in detail had been done as early as in 1992-1993 and summary of a rational delimitation have been published at occasions in leading news papers of J&K. The exercise had proposed 45 to 47 for Jammu Region and 36 to 38 for Kashmir Region and 4 for Ladakh Region out of 87 seats.Since the micro level data on road distribution and the condition of fairness of roads as well as the distribution of the populated area as well as the forest was/ is not immediately forthcoming for all the Districts of J&K ( at least upto Tehsil level) the exercise done may require minor adjustments ( 5 to 10% ) in the projected number of seats in the legislature at the district level with in a Region ( Jammu or Kashmir ) But the over all distribution of seats at the Regional Level will not show a variation of more than 5% on the plus minus side of what has been proposed in table – C ( 45 for Jammu Region and 38 for Kashmir Region ) and Table –A ( 45 to 47 for Jammu Region and 36 to 38 for Kashmir Region).For a fair delimitation even the census figures of 2001 will have to be examined for fairness. 2001 Census figures show the population of Jammu Region as 4395712 souls and the voter lists as made for Sep/Oct 2002 Assembly Elections showed 28 . 92 Lac voters for Jammu region. 

Where as the population for Kashmir Region as per 2001 census has been shown as 5441341souls as against only 25 . 46 Lac Voters in 2002. How can the voters be so much less where population is more and vice versa . Hence keeping in view the spirit of J&K Representation of People Act of 1957 may be only 1981 census figures will have to be used since the mistake has been done while doing delimitation on the basis of 1981 census figures. It has also to be kept in mind that in view of the requirements as laid in the J&K Representation of the People Act 1957, population contributes not more than 20 % towards the logics to be used for delimitation. 80% of the logic parameters to be used for delimitation tilt the balance towards Jammu region. Presently out of 111 seats in Assembly 24 seats have been marked for POK and 4 seats for Ladakh Region. New Districts of Kishtwar, Reasi, Samba, Bandipur, Ramban, Shopian, Ganderbal and Kulgam have been created but the boundaries have not yet been well marked . Further since the irrational Delimitattion was done on the basis of 1981 census, the analysis as done earlier is retained. Further the number of seats in Legislative assembly if increased by 25 % on the over all before new delimitation commission is constituted the seats as determined here would proportionately get increased to 45 to 46 for Kashmir Region, 57 to 58 for Jammu Region and 5 to 6 for Ladakh Region out of total 109 for this part of J&K State.
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Table --- AVital statistics of J&K as are relevant for Delimitation of single member segments in the Legislative Assembly , present status and proposed distribution of segments.S.No. Particulars Jammu Kashmir Ladakh RemarksRegion Region Region 1. ***Population as per 1981 CENSUS 27,18,113 31,34,909 1,34,372 . ***2001 Census figures show the population of Jammu Region as 4395712 souls and the voter lists as made for Sep/Oct 2002 Assembly Elections showed 28 . 92 Lac voters for Jammu region where as the population for Kashmir Region as per 2001 census has been shown as 5441341souls as against only 25 . 46 Lac Voters in 2002. Hence the census figures of 2001 are not dependable.2. Geographical area ( excluding POK) Sq. Km 26293 15948 967013. Area Under Forest Sq. Km. 12050 8115 174. % Forest Area 45.83 50.88 . 0.025. Road Networkupto 1987 in Km 3500 49006. % Area covered by Roads 18 40 very less 7. Area other than forest Sq. Km 14,243 7,833 app 966808. Proportionate units of elected members in Legislative Council ( MLCs ) as per Section ( 50 ) of Constitution of J&K 14 12 2 9. Present strength ofsegments in LegislativeAssembly as ordered by K. K. Gupta DelimitationCommission on 27-04-95 ( MLAs ) +37 ??? + 46 ??? + 4 ? + Remarks >Jammu region has more elected seats in the Legislative Council but so strangely the Delimitation Commission has kept lesser seats in Assembly for Jammu region.10. District Administrative Units ( Districts) beforeOctober 1947 +5 + 3 + 1 + Remarks> Jammu province had Jammu, Kathua, Udhampur, Reasi, Mirpur as districts and two Jagirs of Poonch and Chenani where as Kashmir Province ( Kashmir region of today ) had only 3 districts Anantnag, Baramulla, Muzaffarabad and Ladakh had District of Ladakh 11. Districts ( excluding POJK) before carving 8 new districts( order in July 2006 and execution in April 2007 ) since KK Gupta had donedelimitation before ( 1995 ) that + 6 +6 + 2 + Remarks Jammu Region > Jammu, Kathua, +Udhampur, +Doda, Rajouri and Poonch. + Remarks Kashmir Region > Srinagar, **Badgam, Anantnag, **Pulwama, Baramulla and **Kupwara + Remarks Ladakh > Leh, ** Kargil region **Remarks >The spread of districts Jammu Region was much more vast as compared to Kashmir region in 1975 when Sheikh Mohd Abdullah returned to power , But still **three new districts were already carved ( 1-07-1979 ) in Kashmir Division much before the Wazir Commission Report was submitted ( 3-01-1984 ) to Government.. Kargil District was also carved at same time.12. District Administrative Units as recommended (1-03-1984 )by Wazir Commission 6 + *3=9 6 + *1=7 * Remarks * Jammu Region > Jammu,Kathua, Doda, Rajouri Poonch, *Reasi. *Kishtwar and *Bahu/ Samba * Kashmir region > Srinagar, Badgam, Anantnag, Pulwama, Baramulla, Kupwara and *Bandipora 13. As per my analysis Rational/ Legitimate likely segments in Legislative Assembly out 87 ( 24 out of 111 have been kept for POK) Keeping in view **Section ( 4), Sub- Section ( 2), Clause a ( i ) to Clause a ( v ) of J&K Representation of People REMARKS >**J&K Representation of People Act of 1957 ( Act . No. IV ) , Section- 4, Sub Section –2 Clause –a ( i ): Population ( population parameter has not to be given more than 25 to 30 % weightage ) Clause- a (ii ) : Geographical Compactness ( location of people in Kashmir valley is very compact in comparison to Jammu region )Clause – a ( iii) :Nature of terrain ( Jammu region has not more than 25% plain terrain where as Kashmir region has more than 75 % terrain as plain ) Clause – a ( iv) : Facilities of Communication ( Percentage of area covered by roads in Kashmir valley is almost double the Jammu region ) Clause - a ( v) : And the like considerations ( this factor will also result in advantage to Jammu region during delimitation. See table (B) for District wise distribution Jammu Region**45 to47 Kashmir Region 37 to 38 Ladakh region 4 to 6.Table- B Likely/ rational distribution of seats in Legislative Assembly of J&K based on data of 1981 ***census ( since the population census figures of 2001 though have been conveyed by the official agencies but not logically explained to trueness when questioned by some people are not getting convinced because inspite of heavy migration from Kashmir Region the new data shows disproportionately, rather unbelievably, large increase for Kashmir region over 1981 figures, hence the data for 1981 is being taken for demonstration purposes.***2001 Census figures show the population of Jammu Region as 4395712 souls and the voter lists as made for Sep/Oct 2002 Assembly Elections showed 28 . 92 Lac voters for Jammu region where as the population for Kashmir Region as per 2001 census has been shown as 5441341souls as against only 25 . 46 Lac Voters in 2002. ) and keeping in view the spirit of J&K Representation of People Act of 1957 and the Constitution of J&K. Taking 83 seats for Jammu and Kashmir Regions & 4 seats for Ladakh Region & 24 seats for POK out of total of 111 seats. Table- BRegion District Area Forest Population Likely Likely likely Likely Av sq km sq km 1981 seats as seats as seats as per overallper Area per area per MLC basis w/o forest popu basis basis basis basi basis KASHMIR Srinagar 2228 380 708328 4.38 6.95 10.04 7.12Badgam 1371 481 367267 2.69 3.35 5.21 3.75Anantnag 3984 2197 656351 7.83 6.72 9.31 7.95Pulwama 1398 729 4040782. 2.75 2.51 5.73 3.66Baramulla 4588 2677 670142 9. 01 7. 18 9.50 8.56Kupwara 2379 1641 328743 4.67 2.74 4.66 4.03Kashmir region15948 8115 3134909 31.33 29.45 44.45 38.31 35 to 37 (excluding POK )JAMMU Jammu 3079 1339 943395 6.09 6.61 13.38 8.68Kathua 2651 789 369123 5.21 7.00 5.23 5.81Udhampur 4550 1945 453636 8.94 9.79 6.43 8.38 Doda 11691 5848 425262 22.97 21.97 6.03 16.99Rajouri 2630 1304 302500 5.16 4.98 4.29 4.81Poonch 1674 825 224197 3.29 3.19 3.18 3.22 Jammu Region (excluding POK)26293 12050 2718113 51.66 53.54. 38.54 4.69 48 to 46LadakhRegion Leh 2 to 3Kargil 2 -3Ladakh Region total 5 to 6Ladakh Region : The area and locations are such that for this region the allocation has to be made in a special manner. The area is very large but the inhabited area is very less and hence the area factor can not be so simply applied to in this case. Ofcourse, the population, the means of communication and topography need be given due consideration. TABLE- C District wise distribution of seats in the Legislative assembly as per Last Delimitation ( DC ) ( 27-04-1995 ) K. K. Gupta Commission , as it existed before 27-4-1995 and as it should be (as has been arrived at through the exercise as done in Table- B by me ) as per the ground conditions as well as the requirements as laid down in the Representation of the People act of 1957 and as directed through the intentions of Constitution of J&K. I had also submitted a note to Justice ( Retd ) K. K. Gupta Chairman Delimitation Commission ( DC ) in person much before 27-04-1995.District Seats Seats Seats Seats Seats As existed As proposed As ordered As ordered Fair share Before 4/95 By DC in 4/89 by DC 28/9/92 by Review DC as worked byOut of 76 out of 87 out of 87 out of 87 Daya Sagarin 1991/92 Srinagar 14 10 10 10 7 to 8 Badgam It was with Srinagar 5 5 5 4Ananatnag 15 10 10 10 8Pulwama It was with Anantnag 6 6 6 4Baramulla 13 10 10 10 9-10Kupwara It was with Baramulla 5 5 5 4Total Kashmir Region 42 46 46 46 37 to 38 Jammu 11 13 13 13 10 to 9 Kathua 4 5 5 5 6 to 7Udhampur 5 6 6 6 8 to 7 Doda 6 6 6 6 11 to 13 Rajouri 3 4 4 4 5 to 4Poonch 3 3 3 3 3 to 4Total Jammu Region 32 37 37 37 45 to 46Leh 1 2 2 2 2-3Kargil 1 2 2 2 2-3Ladakh Region 2 4 4 4 4 to5 Total Excluding POJK 76 87 87 87 87

It was the hard work of Kashmiri leaders that did not allow the Farooq Abdullah, Mufti and Azad Governments to implement even Wazir Commission report that had recommended in 1984 to raise the number of Districts in Jammu Region from six to nine and in Kashmir Region from six to only seven. Ghulam Nabi Azad has given four new districts to Kashmir Region as against only one new district recommended by Wazir commission in 1984 where as only four have been given to Jammu Region as against three recommended by Wazir commission. The Wazir Commission remained on job from 12-11-1981 to 3-1-1984 and took 3 years to analyze and make recommendations. Surprisingly present government could reassess the whole issue in just 6 months and finally order creation of 8 new districts in J&K instead of 4 districts recommended by Wazir Commission .This shows that it is not logic but some hidden policies and compulsions that govern the working and intentions of the governments of the day. Hence a lot needs to be done to make the governments perform honestly and truly.Better know yourself first:In 1947 Jammu Province of Maharaja Hari Singh had Five Districts namely Udhampur ( 5 tehsils), Jammu ( four tehsil), Kathua ( 3 tehsils) , Mirpur ( three tehsils ) and Reasi ( two tehsils ) as well as two Jagirs of Poonch & Chenani. Where as Kashmir Province had only three districts ie Anantnag ( four tehsils) , Baramulla ( three tehsils )and Muzaffarabad ( three tehsils). Srinagar was a tehsil of Anantnag then and Uri was a tehsil of Muzafarabad. 

After 1947 Accession with India the Jammu Province had 6 districts ( Udhampur, Jammu, Kathua, Doda, Rajouri and Poonch). Similarly Kashmir Division that was nearly half the area of Jammu Division had 3 Districts ( Srinagar , Ananatnag and Baramulla ).Wazir Commission Recommendations had called for nine District Administrative Units for Jammu Division as against seven for Kashmir Division Surely any new study if done would not have reduced the number of three new districts proposed by Wazir Commission for Jammu Division, rather the number surely would have increased further if any new criteria is adopted for creation of more districts to redress the grievance of people even from Kashmir Division. Total areas (in square kilometers) and areas without forest for different districts as they existed before creation of 8 new districts w.e.f 1-04-2007 are Doda ( 11691 / 5843 ), Baramulla ( 4588 / 1911), Udhampur ( 4550 / 2605 ), Anantnag ( 3984 / 1787 ), Jammu ( 3097 / 1758 ), Kathua ( 2651 / 1862 ), Rajouri ( 2630 / 1326 ), Kupwara ( 2379 / 728 ), Srinagar ( 2228 / 1848 ), Poonch ( 1674 / 849 ), Pulwama ( 1398 / 669 ) and Badgam ( 1371 / 890 ). After 1947 Accession with India the Jammu Province that included Poonch and Chenani as well was spread over an area of 26,293 square kilometers and Kashmir province of which Muzafarabad had been occupied by Pakistan aided raiders comprised of 15948 square kilometer area. For administrative reasons Jammu Division after 1947 had 6 districts ( Udhampur, Jammu, Kathua, Doda, Rajouri and Poonch). Mirpur had gone in POK but Poonch Jagir became administratively part of Jammu Division. Similarly Kashmir Division that was nearly half the area of Jammu Division had 3 Districts ( Srinagar , Ananatnag and Baramulla ) till 3 more districts were created after Government headed by Sheikh Mohmed Abdullah took over in 1975 . After independence New Delhi could not come out from the political pressure of the Kashmir Valley based leadership. Gajendragadkar Commission Report of 1967, reports of Commissions headed by Justice Janki Nath Wazir ( particularly report submitted in 1984 by Justice J N Wazir ) and the Singhal Committee Report of 1998 did endorse some grievances. Till recently Governments of the day had not rejected these reports.

In view of the multi-dimensional inter-regional contradictions Government of J&K had set up Gajendragadkar Commission in 1967 . Gajendragadkar Commission had observed that the main cause of irritation and tension was the feeling of political neglect and discrimination from which the certain regions (Jammu and Ladakh) suffered. Gajendragadkar Commission further observed that even if all the matters are equally settled, there would still be a measure of discontent unless the political aspirations of the different regions are satisfied. After Poonch agitation 0f 1978-79 and localized agitations on the issues of development and employment in the districts of Udhampur and Doda the Government of Jammu & Kashmir had set up a Commission headed by Justice Janki Nath Wazir. Wazir commission was appointed on Nov 12, 1981 for studying different issues including rationalisation of Administrative Units (Districts). Justice JN Wazir incidentally also had vast experience on J&K affairs as he also headed the first regular Delimitation Commission. The spread ( area ) of districts in Jammu Region was much more vast as compared to Kashmir region in 1975 when Sheikh Mohd Abdullah returned to power. Three new districts ( Pulwama, Kupwara and B udgam) had already been carved in Kashmir Division even before the Wazir Commission was appointed in 1981.After exhaustive study, interaction and factual position, Wazir Commission submitted its report on January 3, 1984. The Commission recommended creation of three more districts in Jammu region to be carved out one each from existing Jammu, Doda and Udhampur districts. Number of District Administrative units in Jammu Division would go up from six to nine. The Commission also recommended creation of one more district of Bandipore out of Baramulla in Kashmir region raising number of districts in Kashmir Division from six to seven ( Wazir commission appeared to be under pressure to nearly accept the 3 districts already created in Kashmir Division by State Government in early eighties ) . 

The Wazir Commission appears to have taken cognizance of area, backwardness, topography, geographical continuity and distribution of population. Areawise (excluding POK and allied areas) Jammu region has 26,293 sq. km. Kashmir region 15948 while Ladakh topping the list with 96,701. At the times when Wazir commission was on job road network was nearly 5000 Km in Kashmir Division as against less than 3500 km in Jammu Division. In view of more backward areas in Jammu region creation of three more districts was recommended as against only one for Kashmir Division where 3 districts had already been carved out of District of Anantnag ( Anantnag and Pilwama) , Srinagar ( Srinagar and Badgam ) and Baramulla( Baramulla and Kupwara) much before the Wazir Commission had submitted the report. Even the original Districts of Baramulla ,Anantnag and Srinagar were very very small in comparison to the district of Doda. The total combined area of Baramulla and Kupwara districts is 6977 sq kilometers where as that of Doda district is 11691 sq kilometers. Even the area of Doda district excluding forest area is 5843 sq kilometer and that Baramulla Kupwara combine excluding forest is only 2639 sq kilometers. Area of Kishtwar tehsil of Doda District was 4550 sq kilometers. Those who have kept the Wazir Commission report under the carpet for over 20 years have surely done a great injustice to the people of far flung areas . Kishtwar and Bhadarwah Tehsils of Doda districts were the poorest of the poor areas of J&K inspite of the fact they had the major portion of forest wealth of J&K and at least half as large a tourism potential as the Kashmir valley has. Happenings in the J&K Legislative Assembly over last five years can well explain the intentions of those who feared of the pressures from Kashmir Valley in case Wazir Commission recommendations were implemented.In general the developmental plan funds and other allocations are made by Government taking District Administrative unit / Community development block as the basis. 

The recommendations of the Wazir Commission if accepted would have made the Jammu Division entitled for more fund allocations in comparison to Kashmir Division. Implementation of a report like 1984 Justice J.N. Wazir like Commission Report and constitution of a new impartial Delimitation Commission for reorganization of single member assembly segments of J&K Legislative assembly would surely place Dogriat ahead of Kashmiriat. The common man of Kashmir Valley may not take much notice of it but the political opponents of Government would surely use the same to exploit the sentiments of innocent common Kashmiri .That could explain reluctance of Kashmir centric politicians to keep the Wazir Commission report under the carpet. Creation of new districts also has direct bearing on the assembly seats. Inview of need for creating three more districts in addition to Bandipora in Kashmir Valley, surely those who talk of the need for some more districts out of some areas of Doda, Kathua and Udhampur Districts of Jammu province in addition to Reasi, Kishtwar , Ramban and Samba too have some logic. More so it must be kept in mind that Srinagar, Pulwama and Badgam have very less Kandi and forest areas. On this basis a rational study would recomment 2 to 3 more districts for Jammu province and total districts could be ( 12). Any new Delimitation Commission for assembly segments of the Legislative Assembly would have found it difficult to keep 37 seats in the assembly for nine Disricts of Jammu Province and 46 seats for only 7 Districts of Kashmir Province. Hence to undo such pressures the number of Districts in Jammu and Kashmir regions has been made 10 each w.e.f 1-04-2007. But the truth as laid in Section-50 of J&K Constitution will still keep on irritating.Section 50 of J&K Constitution had already an irritating provision for the Kashmir Centric leadership where in the Legislative Council Jammu province has 14 elected MLCs and Kashmir Province has only 12 elected MLCs. Presently Jammu has more elected MLCs ( Member Legislative Council ) but less MLAs ( Member Legislative Assembly ) than Kashmir Division.Looking at the people and the status of those living the far flung backward areas of J&K, there is a special provision in the J&K Representation of People Act of 1957 for providing a representative of nearness in the Legislative Assembly to the people of J&K . 

Azad has given proof of his concern for the people and has said that there may also be a need for increasing seats in the Legislative Assembly. People should hope that new Delimitation Commission for reorganizing single member segments in Legislative assembly would work under no pressure and shall undo the mistakes as were done by the earlier Commission in mid nineties. I have discussed this in my coloumns in DE in very detail. In case the Delimitation Commission would work honestly even under the present status the seats for Doda, Kathua and Udhampur districts would increase under the provisions of J&K representation of People Act 1957 as well as Jammu Province´s share out of present 87 seats ( excluding 25 kept for POK) would be nearly 45 and that of Kashmir Valley around 38. In case total seats are increased to 100 ( 25 seats of POK ) the districts of jammu province may get around 57 se 58 seats. J&K Legislative Council already has 14 elected MLC´s from Jammu Province as per Section 50 of J&K Constitution where as Kashmir Valley has only 12 elected MLC´seats in the Legislative Council. The only irritating reality is that the Districts as well as seats in the Legislative Assembly would be more for Dogriat than that of Kashmiriat. Let Dogriat not irritate Kashmiriat. And if it irritates , make all efforts to let Kashmiries accept it happily in a brotherly manner. But these issues will have to be taken up by all by rising above individual party politics. Leaders of Jammu from all political and social groups will have to come along side Ghulam Nabi Azad to strengthen his efforts for making the people of Kashmir Valley well understand and accept the ground realities as regards reorganization of District administrative Units and Delimitation of the single member segments in the Legislative Assembly. Why ask a specific number of seats in assembly. Let us ask for a fair trial and delimitation as per representation of the people Act 1957. The Section -4 has four parameters in favour of the areas falling in Jammu region. The fifth parameter the population as per 2001 census is disputedly shown more for Kashmir Region. But the electorate ( voters ) from Jammu region are more than Kashmir region. Even this factor lays the truths to wards Jammu region. 

As per the Act The Delimitation Commission shall,
(a) readjust the extent and boundaries of the Assembly Constituencies ; and 
(b) determine the number of seats in the Legislative Assembly to be reserved for the Scheduled Castes. 

The Delimitation Commission shall in the manner herein provided, distribute the seats in the Legislative Assembly to single member territorial constituencies and delimit them having due regard, as far as practicable to the (a) (i) Population as ascertained at the last preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published ;and (ii) geographical compactness ;and (iii) nature of terrain ; and (iv) facilities of communication ; and (v) the like consideration.] 

*( Daya Sagar is social activist and leading coloumist on Kashmir affairs. dayasagar@ yahoo.co.uk www.dayasagr.blogspot.com )

1 comment:

  1. this not only an eye opener rather a heart breaking story of continous supression of dogras. i think its high time that everyone must wake up and fight for the cause of DUGGAR pradesh. i certenly feeel that we must bring a sicial revolution in jammu. we must show these handful kAshmirirs that the royal blood of diogras is still flowing through our veins. we will not sit quietly in the corner and let u decide our fate. i hope to see a new agitation like we saw at the time of Shri Amarnath SB controversy.
    Jai hind & jai duggar

    ReplyDelete

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