The Delimitation Commission has proposed significant modifications to the electoral map of Jammu and Kashmir, carving up new constituencies and redrawing some existing ones. The NC has rejected the draught delimitation working paper, the second set of proposals shared by the Commission with five associate members (the five J&K Lok Sabha MPs, three from the National Conference, and two from the BJP), saying it will send a detailed response to the Commission as soon as possible — the Commission has sought the associate members' views and will then make the report public.
The Commission has proposed adjustments in the Kashmir division's Baramulla, Kupwara, Srinagar, Kulgam, and Anantnag districts in the draught report. While Kupwara is the only district in the Valley to gain a new constituency, modifications to existing constituencies have also been proposed. Keran, as well as sections of the Kralpora tehsil, have been added to the new seat of Trehgam. While the number of Assembly segments in Baramulla remains at five, the Kunzer and Tangmarg constituencies have been created by splitting the Gulmarg constituency and merging the Sangrama constituency.
According to the delimitation draught, the Sangrama and Gulmarg constituencies, which voted for the PDP in the 2014 Assembly elections, are now defunct. The Shangus tehsil in south Kashmir has been divided between the Anantnag East and Larnoo constituencies. Dooru and Larnoo have split the Kokernag constituency, which was formerly held by the PDP. Dooru is regarded as a bastion for the Democratic Party. According to the plan, Kulgam will have three members instead of four, with parts within the present Hom Shali Bugh constituency falling into Devsar.
The Commission, which included former Supreme Court judge Justice Ranjana Desai, Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra, and J&K Election Commissioner KK Sharma, proposed seven new Assembly seats in December last year, six in the Jammu division and one in the Kashmir Valley. The Commission proposed for the first time reserving nine seats for Scheduled Tribes (STs) based on population. The Scheduled Castes were suggested for seven seats (SCs).
The overall number of Assembly constituencies in J&K would rise to 90 after these planned increases are implemented — the number of seats in Jammu will increase to 43 from 37, and the number of seats in Kashmir will increase by one to 47. A total of 24 seats are intended to be set aside for Pakistan-controlled Kashmir (PoK). One each was planned in the districts of Kathua, Samba, Rajouri, Reasi, Doda, and Kishtwar in the Jammu division, and Kupwara in the Kashmir Valley, out of the seven extra Assembly constituencies in the Union Territory.
The Commission advocated creating an additional constituency in some districts to balance representation for geographical areas with insufficient communication and public conveniences due to their extreme remoteness or unfriendly conditions on the international border, according to the Commission.
All five MPs — Farooq Abdullah, Hasnain Masoodi, Mohammad Akbar Lone (NC), and Jitendra Singh and Jugal Kishore Sharma (BJP) – attended the December meeting (BJP).