NEW DELHI: India published on Thursday a new list of redrawn political constituencies for Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), giving greater representation to the Muslim-majority region’s Hindu areas and paving the way for fresh elections.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government broke up IIOJK into two federal territories in 2019 as part of a move to tighten its grip over the region. The government said a delimitation commission had finalised 90 assembly constituencies for IIOJK, excluding Ladakh, with 43 seats for Jammu and 47 for Kashmir. Earlier, Jammu had 37 seats and the Kashmir valley 46.
The commission, whose report has been rejected by J&K’s Peoples Democratic Party, said it had been difficult to accommodate competing claims from various sides, citing in a statement the region’s “peculiar geo-cultural landscape”.
Indian Home Minister Amit Shah said in January that elections would be held in IIOJK soon after the delimitation process was completed. He also promised to reinstate its statehood once its “situation became normal”.