The new boundaries, names and number of Assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), as ordered by the Boundaries Commission, come into effect on May 20, the Ministry of Justice announced on Friday.
The two panel orders – one issued on March 14 which dealt with the number of constituencies reserved for different categories and the second, from May 5, dealing with the size of each constituency – will come into force together from May 20.
This will be the first step towards restoring the electoral process in J&K’s Union Territory (UT) which has retained its former Legislative Assembly.
“In exercising the powers conferred by Subsections (2) and (3) of Section 62 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act 2019 (34 of 2019), the Central Government shall appoint by this May 20, 2022, as the date on which the Orders of the Boundaries Commission, Order No. 1, dated March 14, 2022 and Order No. 2, dated May 5, 2022, … shall take effect”Opinion of the Ministry of Justice
“In exercising the powers conferred by Subsections (2) and (3) of Section 62 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act 2019 (34 of 2019), the Central Government shall appoint by hereby May 20, 2022, as the date on which the Orders of the Boundary Commission, Order No. 1, dated March 14, 2022, and Order No. 2, dated May 5, 2022, … shall enter into force,” the Department of Justice notification reads.
The Boundary Committee gave six additional Assembly seats to Jammu region, one to Kashmir Valley and brought Rajouri and Poonch regions under Anantnag parliamentary constituency. While the Jammu division will now have 43 seats in the Assembly and Kashmir 47 in the 90-member chamber
“In tune with people’s aspirations”
Former Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra, in an earlier interview, said The Hindu that the process of redrawing Assembly constituencies by the Boundaries Committee was done in accordance with the aspirations of the people of UT and in an “inclusive and participatory manner”.
The former CEC had said that once the Center notified an effective date for the Commission’s order, the Electoral Commission should streamline polling stations and revise voter lists before holding meetings with stakeholders.
He said the Commission had visited J&K to interact with stakeholders, including around 800 people during the first visit in 2021 and around 1,500 during the second in April.
“At the end of the day, we have to respond to the aspirations of the people,” he said.
The Commission’s decision to establish a headquarters in Lok Sabha with areas of Jammu region and Kashmir Valley called Anantnag-Rajouri had been criticized by political parties including the National Conference.