Congress favours ‘transparent’ delimitation exercise in Jammu & Kashmiri

The Congress leadership is learnt to have decided to extend support to “a transparent and credible” delimitation exercise in J&K and press for the inclusion of a party nominee in the panel. At present, it has no representation in the panel as its ex-officio members comprise NC and BJP Lok Sabha MPs from J&K. The Congress has currently no MP from the UT.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, J&K party leaders and AICC in-charge Rajni Patil during consultations on Monday felt that the delimitation exercise was “long overdue”. Incidentally, the exercise is expected to give better representation to the Jammu region, which has been complaining of a lack of proportional representation in the assembly.

This will be in addition to the officially stated demands for early revival of statehood and holding of assembly elections at the earliest that the party will raise at the meeting with the PM, where the Congress will be represented by Azad, ex-deputy CM Tara Chand and PCC chief GA Mir. The Congress will also demand relief for the people of J&K and Ladakh who have been affected by land issues and joblessness.

“The Congress will attend the meeting. Since this government, typically of its approach, has not conveyed to us the agenda, we will wait and see what happens in the meeting. As of now, we are as clueless about the agenda as we were on August 5, 2019,” Azad told ET.

While making the decision to attend the PM-convened meeting formal, the Manmohan Singh-led and Sonia Gandhi-attended Congress panel on Tuesday decided not to raise the issue of Article 370 on their own. Some Congress leaders feel since the issue is sub-judice (before SC), it makes no sense to raise it.

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