Farooq Abdullah (left) with Union Minister Jitendra Singh (centre) at a hotel in Delhi

MPs told the commission that the proposal was unacceptable

The Delimitation Commission has proposed six additional assembly seats for Jammu region and one for Kashmir. This will bring the number of assembly seats in the Union territory to 90.

The Delimitation Commission on Monday shared the draft proposal to increase number of assembly seats by seven with the five MPs from J&K, who are the panel's associate members.

The draft also proposes to reserve nine seats for scheduled tribes (STs) and seven for scheduled castes (SCs).

NC MP Hasnain Masoodi said the MPs told the commission that the proposal was unacceptable to them.

“The commission told us that we can file our objections to the draft by December 31,” he said. “We also told them that the population of J&K has increased since the 2011 Census—which was made the basis for the delimitation—and that cannot be ignored.”

The National Conference had initially refused to meet the commission on the pretext that the constitutional validity of the J&K Reorganisation Act—under which the BJP-led government set up the panel—was pending before the Supreme Court.

However, the party later decided to meet the commission after asking the panel to declare its agenda.

Before Jammu and Kashmir was split into two UTs in 2019, the erstwhile state had 87 seats in the assembly: 46 in Kashmir, 37 in Jammu and four in Ladakh. The J&K assembly also had 24 seats vacant for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on which elections were not held.

With the addition of seven seats, the number of seats on which elections will be held will increase to 90. Two women will be nominated as was the practice before.

Delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir was done in 1963, 1973 and 1995 when the state was under President’s Rule.

Delimitation was frozen by the Jammu and Kashmir assembly from 2001 till 2026.

However, after the reading down of Article 370, the BJP-led government ordered the formation of the Delimitation Commission in J&K.