Delimitation has to happen at a quick pace so that polls can take place, PM Modi said last week

The Delimitation Commission tasked with redrawing assembly and parliamentary constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir will visit the Union Territory from July 6 to 9.

During the visit, announced by the Election Commission on Wednesday, the commission will interact with political parties, people's representatives and government officials.

This is expected to speed up the groundwork for the delimitation of constituencies on the basis of which elections can be held.

The decision on the visit comes less than a week after Prime Minister Narenda Modi met with leaders of political parties from the Union Territory in New Delhi on June 24.

Delimitation had to happen at a quick pace so that polls could take place and J&K got an elected government, Prime Minister Modi had said during the meeting.

The Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019 had bifurcated the erstwhile state into two Union Territories - Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

Jammu & Kashmir will have a legislative assembly, elections to which are mandated to be held after the delimitation exercise for constituencies is completed.

The Delimitation Commission was constituted in March 2020. Its term was extended by another year in March 2021 in view of the on-going Covid-19 pandemic.

During the visit, the Commission members will interact with political parties, public representatives and Union Territory administration officials including District Election Officers and Deputy Commissioners of 20 districts of the Union Territory.

The objective will be to gather first-hand information and inputs concerning the ongoing process of delimitation as mandated under the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019, said the Election Commission.

The Commission has already held a series of meetings related to data and maps of the Districts and Constituencies related to Census 2011. It had earlier invited all Associate Members for interaction, which were participated by two of the Associate Members.

A number of representations have also been received on various aspects concerning delimitation from civil societies and members of public from the Union Territory. The Commission has already taken note of all such suggestions and directed that these may be deliberated further in the context of ground realities concerning delimitation.

Announcing the visit , the Commission said it expects that all stakeholders will cooperate in this endeavour and will provide valuable suggestions so that the task of delimitation is completed timely.

The three-member Delimitation Commission is headed by Justice (Retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai, and has the Chief Election Commissioner and Jammu & Kashmir State Election Commissioner as members.

It also has five associate members nominated by the Lok Sabha Speaker.