Delimitation Exercise Has Started In Jammu And Kashmir (J&K):
The completion of the delimitation exercise will mark the political process in the Union Territory (UT) that has been under Centre’s rule since June 2018.
- The delimitation exercise in J&K in the past has been slightly different from those in the rest of the country because of the region’s special status.
- The delimitation of Lok Sabha seats was then governed by the Indian Constitution in J&K, but the delimitation of Assembly seats was governed separately by the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution and Jammu and Kashmir Representation of the People Act, 1957.
- However, Jammu and Kashmir lost its special status and was divided into two Union Territories (J&K and Ladakh) after the abrogation of its special status under Article 370, on 5th August, 2019.
- Following this, a special delimitation commission was constituted on 6th March, 2020 to carve out Assembly and Parliament seats in the UT.
- Delimitation is the act of fixing or redrawing the limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies (Assembly or Lok Sabha seat) in a country or a province having a legislative body, as per the Election Commission.
- The delimitation exercise is carried out by an independent high-powered panel known as the Delimitation Commission whose orders have the force of law and cannot be questioned by any court.
- The exercise has been carried out over the years to redefine the area of a constituency-based on its population size (based on the last Census).
- Aside from changing the limits of a constituency, the process may result in change in the number of seats in a state.
- This exercise also involves reservation of Assembly seats for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) in accordance with the Constitution.
- Aim: The key aim is to have equal representation to equal segments of the population in order to ensure a fair division of geographical areas so that all political parties or candidates contesting elections have a level playing field in terms of a number of voters.