NPP protests, says attempt to carry forward Dixon Plan
Jammu: After almost all political parties opposed the draft Delimitation Commission report on Jammu and Kashmir, hundreds of BJP activists on Monday tendered resignation to protest the proposed merger of Suchetgarh assembly constituency in Jammu district.
The activists, including office bearers of Block Development Commission (BDC), Panchayat and organisation office bearers, met JK BJP party general secretary Ashok Kaul and submitted their resignation.
“We met Shri Ashok Kaul ji (General Secretary) here. We have resigned en masse from the party in protest against the Delimitation Commission report in which our constituency has been merged with R S Pura constituency. We will fight till the decision is reversed”, BJP leader Kabal Singh told reporters here.
The leaders said that they will fight to restore their constituency which was carved in 1986. “We will lay down our lives to safeguard our constituency”, he said.
BDC Chairman Tarseem Singh said that they have decided not to work for the BJP till their demands are met.
“We don’t accept the report. Our constituency has a vote bank of 75,000. If they can carve out Mata Vaishnodevi constituency for 70,000 votes, why not keep this constituency for 75,000 voters,” he said.
As many as 83 polling booth in-charges, 26 Shakti Kendra in-charges, 2 Mandal in charges, Gar Singh and Krishen Choudhary besides BDC Tarseem Singh submitted their resignation.
In the proposed draft report, Kalakote, Suchetgarh and Raipur Domana assembly segments have been removed and Inderwal assembly constituency has been renamed Mughal Maidaan.
Reacting to the protests, Kaul said the BJP will be filing objections with the Commission over it.
“The BJP MP will file objections in this regard. When it will come to the public domain, we will also file objections over it”, Kaul said.
He sought to downplay the protest, saying it is the right of the workers to vent their feelings.
In a related development, Panthers Party, which had four MLAs in the erstwhile assembly of Jammu and Kashmir, also held a protest against the draft report alleging that the BJP-led central government was dividing people on communal lines.
Chief of the Panthers Party Harsh Dev Singh, while addressing his party workers in front of the election office here, said, “We reject the draft report of the delimitation commission. The delimitation seems to have been formulated in the office of BJP. It is far from reality”.
Claiming that people have been divided on the basis of the communal lines and there was an attempt to carry forward Owen Dixon Plan of 1951, he said, “Rajouri and Poonch districts of Jammu region have been joined with Anantnag district of South Kashmir and Jammu region has been divided.”
Dixon, the UN Representative who came to the subcontinent pursuant to the Security Council’s 1950 resolution on the Kashmir dispute, had assigned Ladakh to India, the Northern Areas and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK) to Pakistan, split Jammu between the two, and envisaged a plebiscite in the Kashmir Valley.
The plan popularly known as “Dixon plan” was rejected by India and even by the then prime minister (after 1953, the post was called chief minister) of Jammu and Kashmir Sheikh Abdullah.
The Delimitation Commission, in its draft report, has proposed an overhaul of assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir triggering massive protests from all political parties in the Union territory.
Former chief minister Farooq Abdullah, who heads the National Conference, had on Saturday slammed the draft report, saying it “defies any and all logic” and no political, social and administrative reason can justify the recommendations.
Abdullah, who is Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar parliamentary seat, also made it clear that the party is now engaged in formulating a detailed response to this report and also exploring other options to challenge the entire process.
The draft report was circulated to the associate members on February 4 evening asking them to file their objections by February 14 after which the report would be made public.
Besides Abdullah, other associate members of the commission are Hasnain Masoodi and Akbar Lone (Lok Sabha MPs from the National Conference) and Jitendra Singh and Jugal Kishore (BJP MPs).
The commission’s draft report has seen widespread condemnation from parties including the PDP, Congress, Peoples Conference led by Sajad Lone, the CPI(M) and JK Awami National Conference (ANC).
PDP spokesman said that the draft report circulated in the media makes it “clear that the sole objective of the body was to ensure backdoor entry of BJP and its shadow organisations to the legislative assembly”.
“The exercise of delimitation was an attempt to disempower and disenfranchise the people of Kashmir… it seems to be an exercise in disruption,” a PC spokesman had said and added that “irrationalism is an ugly and a sad constant in the delimitation exercise”.
Reacting to the recommendations, CPI(M) leader Mohamad Yousuf Tarigami said they are incongruous with the Commission’s earlier argument of taking into account the topography and difficult terrain while re-mapping the poll constituencies.
“The Commission, which was supposed to serve as an independent constitutional authority, is seen as furthering the interests of one particular political party only to fetch them electoral gains,” he alleged. PTI