The Delimitation Commission on Jammu and Kashmir, formed in March 2020, has notified its final report giving six additional assembly seats to the Jammu region and one to Kashmir Valley and bringing areas of Rajouri and Poonch under the Anantnag parliamentary seat.
Jammu division will now have 43 assembly seats and Kashmir 47 in the 90-member house.
“The changes will come into effect from the date to be notified by the central government,” the Commission said in a statement.
With this report having been notified, decks are now cleared for holding the first assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir after it was downgraded to a union territory on August 5, 2019.
Earlier, the erstwhile assembly had 87 seats — 46 in Kashmir, 37 in Jammu, and four in Ladakh.
Ladakh, in the reorganization of the erstwhile state, was declared as a union territory without an assembly.
A gazette notification was issued after the three-member panel headed by Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, a retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India, signed the final order before submitting it to the government. The other two ex-officio members were Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and Jammu and Kashmir Election Commissioner KK Sharma.
Five Lok Sabha members — three from the National Conference and two from the BJP — were Associate members of the Commission.
The report was later submitted to India’s Law Ministry.
While no seat has been reserved by either Kashmiri migrants or refugees from West Pakistan, the Delimitation Commission said that it would recommend to the government for providing at least two seats including a female from the community of Kashmiri migrants in the Legislative Assembly at par with the power of nominated members of the Puducherry Assembly under which a member has a right to vote.
The Commission, which was entrusted with the work of delimiting the assembly and parliamentary constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir on the basis of the 2011 Census, has also recommended to the government consider giving the displaced persons from Pakistan-administered Jammu and Kashmir some representation in the assembly through nomination.