NC opposes delimitation of Kashmir Panchayat wards

Jammu, March 7 (IANS) The opposition National Conference on Tuesday sought the intervention of the Election Commission of India to stop the government’s move to delimit Panchayat wards in Jammu and Kashmir.

Devender Singh Rana, provincial President of the NC, alleged that the delimitation of Panchayat wards was being carried out by the state government to ensure “its victory” in the forthcoming Panchayat elections in the state.

Rana said the government had chosen to hold Panchayat elections in order to avoid by-elections to the two Lok Sabha seats which had fallen vacant in the valley.

“They (PDP) know that they have lost all footing in the valley and that is why they are avoiding to hold by-elections to the two Lok Sabha seats by opting for Panchayat elections”, Rana said.

He said by fixing the 2011 Census as the benchmark for delimitation of Panchayat units, the state government was negating the spirit of the Panchayat Act.

The NC had called on the Governor, N.N. Vohra to intervene and stop the arbitrary delimitation process, he added.

He said the party was not against delimitation wherever necessary, but a certain rationale had to be adopted in creating and delinking the wards.

The Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency became vacant after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti assumed power and had to resign from the parliamentary seat.

Srinagar constituency also became vacant after the resignation of Tariq Hameed Karra both from the Peoples Democratic Party and the Lok Sabha.

There is a growing opinion in the ruling PDP-BJP government that the Lok Sabha by-elections and Panchayat elections cannot be held simultaneously as the process entails huge security mobilisation because of the increasing militant activities in south Kashmir.