According to a report in the Statesman (August 13, 2008), the BJP has asked for delimitation of J&K seats. The statistics it has reeled off are shocking and go to show how the Buddhists and Hindus of the state have been short-changed in the electoral system to ensure that a radical minority of Valley Muslims keeps ruling the state at their expense.
The senior BJP leader, Mr Venkaiah Naidu, reeled off figures to support his party’s demand. Of the total electorate of 56,12,149 in J&K, Jammu alone accounted for 28,92,290, Kashmir Valley 25,46,913 votes, and Leh-Ladakh 1,72,000 votes.
He alleged that like Jammu, the Leh and Ladakh regions too had to suffer discrimination. Despite these figures, Mr Naidu bemoaned that Kashmir sent more MLAs and MPs (46 MLAs and 3 MPs) than Jammu (37 MLAs and 2 MPs). He said the time had come to take “corrective steps to remove these existing anomalies”, adding that even geographically Jammu region accounts for 26,000 sq km of area against Kashmir’s 15,000 sq km.
Describing the situation as “anomalous”, Mr Naidu demanded that just like in other states, a delimitation regime should also be put in place in J&K.