Srinagar, (UNI): Taking strong exception to the exclusion of Sikhs from any reservation proposed by the Delimitation Commission, the All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) on Thursday alleged that the Commission wants to disenfranchise the Sikh community in Jammu and Kashmir.
APSCC Chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina said in a statement that if 16 seats can be reserved for the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes in the Jammu amd Kashmir assembly, at least eight seats can be reserved for the Sikh community.
“There are many Sikh-dominated constituencies across Jammu and Kashmir including Batmaloo, Baramulla and Tral in the Kashmir region and in Gandhi Nagar, R S Pura, Suchetgarh, Nowshera and Vijaypur in Jammu region. These seats ought to be reserved for Sikhs so that they could feel that they have been empowered,” he said.
Raina accused the Delimitation Commission of “working on an agenda set out by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and alleged that the other political parties too were playing politics. The National Conference redrew the constituencies according to its own vote bank, he said.
“The traditional political parties are playing politics according to their vested interests and they don’t care for people in general and the community members in particular.”
The APSCC Chairman said Sikh politicians won assembly elections from Gandhi Nagar, Tangmarg and Baramulla in the past. Therefore it is the responsibility of the Commission to satiate the feelings and aspirations of all communities including Sikhs.
“The Delimitation Commission should not take dictations from any government. Scores of delegations met the Delimitation Commission members in Kashmir and Jammu and submitted written documents seeking redress for various constituencies and communities. The Commission seems to have dumped them in the dust-bin,” he said.