On Tuesday i.e., 22 February 2022, the Delimitation Commission, set up by Union Law Ministry, to redraw the Assembly constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir, has received a two more month extension to complete the exercise.
The panel is headed by former Supreme Court judge, Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai. The Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and the Election Commissioner of J&K are ex-officio members of the Commission, all the five Lok Sabha members from the Union Territory are its associate members. The term of the panel had to end on 6 March 2022. Now the extension will lead to a further delay in announcement to hold elections in J&K. J&K is now a Union Territory with a provision for a legislature.
Originally set up in March 2020, the commission was given a one-year extension after the National Conference (NC) refused to participate in the deliberations. But later it decided to take part in the commission proceedings after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held an all-party meeting in June 2021.
The commission came into being by virtue of an Act of Parliament, under the provisions of Part V of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019. It is redrawing boundaries of seven additional seats for the 83-member Assembly. “In exercise of powers conferred by Section 3 of the Delimitation Act 2002 (33 of 2002), the Central government hereby makes the further amendment of two months in the notification of Government of India in the Ministry of Law and Justice (Legislative department no So-1015(e) dated 6th March 2020. In the notification in paragraph two for the words ‘two years’ the words ‘two years and two months’ shall be substituted,” read the gazette notification.