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New Electoral Map released for Jammu and Kashmir

A three-member Delimitation Commission redrawing the electoral map of Jammu and Kashmir allotted 47 Assembly seats for Kashmir division and 43 for Jammu in its final decision submitted barely a day before its two-year term was to end. After the panel, led by retired Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, approved the final verdict, giving Jammu six additional seats and Kashmir one more, a gazette notification was released. Jammu had 37 Assembly constituencies and Kashmir had 46 before the restructure, which increased the overall number of Assembly seats in the Union Territory to 90.

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Key Points:

  • The Commission, which includes ex-officio members Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and Jammu and Kashmir Election Commissioner K K Sharma, has recommended that the Union Territory’s Legislative Assembly include at least two members from the Kashmiri migrant community, one of whom be a woman.
  • The Commission stated in a statement that nominated members of the Puducherry Assembly who have the right to vote should be treated equally.
  • The Commission, which was established in March 2020 and was tasked with delineating Assembly and parliamentary constituencies in the Union Territory based on the 2011 Census, has also recommended to the government that displaced persons from Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir be given some representation in the assembly through nomination.
  • Furthermore, following consultations with members of political parties, residents, and civil society organisations, nine seats for Scheduled Tribes have been suggested for the first time — six in Jammu and three in the Valley.
  • The Anantnag parliamentary seat in Kashmir has been reconfigured to include the Rajouri and Poonch districts.
  • The Anantnag parliamentary constituency in Kashmir has been reconfigured to include the Rajouri and Poonch Assembly seats in Jammu.
  • The Union Territory has five Parliamentary constituencies, each with 18 Assembly seats.
  • Some Assembly seats have had their names altered in response to local lawmakers’ requests and popular reaction surrounding the renaming.

Tangmarg has been renamed Gulmarg, Zoonimar has been renamed Zaidibal, Sonwar has been renamed Lal Chowk, Padder has been renamed Padder-Nagseni, Kathua North has been renamed Jasrota, Kathua South has been renamed Kathua, Khour has been renamed Chhamb, Mahore has been renamed Gulab. The Commission heard from Kashmiri migrants and displaced persons from Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir at the public hearing.

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