Stating that the body lacks ‘constitutional and legal mandate’, the PDP on Tuesday decided to not meet the Delimitation Commission, saying it is part of the overall process of pollical disempowerment of people of Jammu and Kashmir.
In a two-page letter written to Ranjana Desai, a retired supreme court of India judge heading the panel, general secretary of the party Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura said the PDP has decided to stay away as “some exercise, the outcome which is widely believed to be pre-planned and which may further hurt the interests of our people”.
It said the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been “robbed of their legitimate constitutional and democratic rights” by the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution “illegally and unconstitutionally”.
The letter started off by highlighting the August 5, 2019 revocation of the special status of the erstwhile state and its bifurcation into two union territories by the Centre.
“…We are of the considered opinion that the Delimitation Commission lacks the constitutional and legal mandate in the first place and its very existence and objectives have left every ordinary resident of J-K with many questions,” the letter, which was e-mailed and personally delivered, said.
The three-member commission was to meet political leaders in the union territory beginning Tuesday.
The PDP led by former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti also claimed that there are apprehensions that the delimitation exercise is part of the overall process of political disempowerment of the people of Jammu and Kashmir that the Centre has embarked upon.
Without naming the BJP, the PDP alleged there are apprehensions that the process is aimed at realising the political vision “of a particular party” in Jammu and Kashmir wherein, like other things, the views and wishes of the people would be considered the least.
“It is a widespread belief that contours and outcome of the exercise are pre-planned and the exercise per se is a mere formality. The very intent is under question,” it said.
The PDP said despite “the utter humiliation of the people of J-K, undermining of our constitutional and democratic rights, vilification and incarceration of political leaders and ordinary citizens” did not come in the way when Prime Minister Narendra Modi convened an all-party meeting on June 24.
“We didn’t let our hurt come in way of what could have been an initiation of reconciliation process aimed at restoring the rights of people of J-K. Hence, we participated in the meeting,” the letter said.