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Under fire from pro-autonomy groups, Delimitation Panel gets two month extension

The term of the Delimitation Commission, mandated to redraw the assembly constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir by the Indian government, has been extended by two months to complete its task.

The panel’s term was to end on March 6, but according to a Law Ministry notification issued on Monday, it has been extended by two months — till May 6 this year.

The panel needed more time to ready its final report, sources aware of the reasons for the extension said.

Formed in March 2020, the panel was granted a one-year extension last year.

Headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, it has Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and the state election commissioner of Jammu and Kashmir as its ex-officio members.

In its draft report shared with its five associated members — all Lok Sabha members from Jammu and Kashmir — the delimitation panel has proposed an overhaul of assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies in the disputed region with many political leaders saying the panel’s aim was to help BJP form a government in the Muslim majority region.

Jammu and Kashmir at present have no legislative assembly. It is a union territory with a provision for a legislature.

The Commission has asked the associate members to give their inputs and objections to the draft in the coming days. Then they would be asked whether their objections if any, should be printed before the next draft is put out in the public domain.

Once people share their inputs and objections, the panel would start working on the final report, the sources explained.

Delimitation is the process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a state or country.

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