Friday, April 16, 2021
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Kashmiri Pandits have the biggest stake in Delimitation process: Chrungoo

Jammu, January 16 (Scoop News)-"The Kashmiri Pandits have the biggest stake in the Delimitation process in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. They are the worst victims of gerrymandering in the world, executed in the Kashmir valley by all the Kashmir centric political parties", said Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, Senior BJP leader and Incharge, Deptt of Political Affairs and Feedback, J&K-BJP.
He was speaking in the Webinar organised by VASUK Group-Conferencing on the topic, "Kashmiri Pandits & Delimitation: Our Response". It was convened by Sandeep Kisroo, the Moderator of the Group, and was attended among others by Prof. S.K. Raina, Jeevan Zutshi, Utpal Kaul, Yoginder Kaul, R.K. Mattoo, Vijay Kashkari, Virender Raina, Adv. Pulkit Chrungoo, Shivdass Raina, Ashok Chrungoo, Arvind Shah, Dr. M.K. Bharat, Sanjay Raina and Sameer Bhat.
Chrungoo in his presentation made it emphatically clear that the huge turn-out in the DDC elections is a clear signal of the urge of the people for peace, progress and development. "There has to be a forward march towards ending discrimination with the people of the UT through the intervention of the Delimitation Commission now". On an analysis of the election campaign, voting pattern and the election results, it is clear that the equal distribution of seats between both the Jammu and Kashmir regions has played a pivotal role in creating trust and satisfaction among the people of the Union Territory for the first time, politically speaking. There can't be two opinions about the facts of discrimination and bias against the region of Jammu in respect of delimitation earlier which allotted three seats to the Kashmir valley and two seats only to the Jammu region for the parliament in addition to giving 46 Assembly seats to Kashmir and 37 seats to Jammu division. This was and remains a violation of the fundamental rights in terms of equality and equal opportunities.
"The Kashmiri Pandit community, which is living as refugees in its own country for the last more than three decades now, has very meager chances to get its representatives elected to the politically important forums. They also need attention and redressal through the Delimitation Commission. Since they are not politically represented unlike all other communities in the UT, they are the perpetual victims of having been refused their share in the government, administration and the other arms and instrumentalities of the state".
Utpal Kaul, Vijay Kashkari, R.K.Mattoo and Yoginder Kaul maintained that there was no member of the Pandit community in the all important Public Service Commission of the State/UT for the last one decade, there has not been even a single minister from them in the government for the last more than a decade, there is no possibility of being represented, for the indigenous people of the state, in the Parliament of the nation, neither is there any mechanism to nominate them to the important political positions either at the centre or in the UT. Pandits are a politically victimised community for no fault of theirs and the ethnic cleansing in 1989-90 has added to and multiplied their woes in this respect.
What remained undone was done by the irrelevant practice of M-Forms during the elections all these three decades. It is time that five Assembly seats are reserved for this victim nationalist community which has more than five thousand years of written history in the Kashmir valley by incorporating amendment in the constitution to this effect or in the alternative, five nominations be done from the community in the Assembly of the UT.
The West Pakistan refugees, sections of Valmiki Samaj and Gorkha community and also other such sections of society will also add up to the overall demographic vicissitudes now since they have also voted in the DDC elections for the first time recently. The fact remains that the census of 2011 can't be the only criteria that need to be the basis for the delimitation. Many other factors also require to be taken into consideration by the Commission.
Then there are the Gujjars and Bakerwals who have been since granted the ST status and should therefore also require reservation of constituencies in both the regions of the UT. The Schedule Caste reservations are also limited to a few constituencies and one region whilst these reservations also need spread and rotation. Such changes, improvements and review by the Delimitation Commission will qualitatively, quantitatively and psychologically cater to the demands of the society which is craving for these issues for the last more than five decades.
Chrungoo further added, "a fervent appeal will be made to the Delimitation Commission to exercise its powers to send such an appropriate recommendation to the President and the government of India in order to settle the unsettled issue of politically important concern of the Pandit community. It will also help paving way for the resettlement of the community in the valley, eventually, as per their geo-political aspirations in the days to come".

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