APSCC asks members of Sikh community to stay away from delimitation exercise

TNN Bureau. Updated: 2/23/2021 4:37:28 PM Jammu and Kashmir

Srinagar, Feb 23: Asking members of the Sikh community to stay away from delimitation exercise, All Party Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) demanded reservation for minorities of the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory (UT).

Since no reservation has been kept or announced for minorities of the UT, the members of the Sikh community will not participate in any delimitation exercise, APSCC chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.

He said there is no fun in meeting the members of the Delimitation Commission given the fact that the people at helm are 'indifferent' towards the issues of minorities in Jammu and Kashmir. He said the Delimitation Commission would lose its credibility if the minorities are not taken on board.

'I appeal the community members to remain aloof from any process of delimitation of constituencies. They should take part in the process only when some seats are reserved for minorities in the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly. The central government and Delimitation Commission should take the minorities into confidence otherwise the exercise would be meaningless,' he said.

Raina, a leader of AP said that many constituencies in both Kashmir and Jammu divisions have huge number of Sikh voters and they hold the key to the fate of politicians who fight elections from these constituencies. He said Sikhs of Jammu and Kashmir should not be misled by hollow slogans of political parties adding that these parties have failed to live up to the expectations of the community so far.

'In the past we have been demanding reservation in assembly segments, but the demand was never considered by political parties and the Delimitation Commission. The present Delimitation Commission initiated by the Ministry of Home Affairs has been tasked to set up a new state of Jammu and Kashmir after abrogation of Article 370 ,' said Raina.

The APSCC Chairman said the basic preamble in framing the constituencies of a state is to give representation to its people and to the boundaries of areas. He said that if any section does not form quorum at a place, then the area is reserved as per the highest vote bank adding the Delimitation Commission should keep this thing in mind.

Raina said in the Kashmir valley, Sikh voters matter in constituencies like Tral, Baramulla and Amira Kadal while in Jammu division areas like Gandhi Nagar, Nowshera, R S Pura and Samba, Sikhs constitute sizeable number of voters. He said it was due to this reason only that Sikh candidates won from these constituencies in the past.

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