Deletion assembly seats named after historic figures irk politicians

HT NEWS NETWORK

Srinagar, Feb 15: From Gandhi Nagar in Jammu to Habba Kadal in Kashmir, the J&K Delimitation Commission’s proposal to delete the names of 19 Assembly constituencies, including those with historically important names, has infuriated the regional leaders in the Union Territory (UT), who described it as “an assault on J&K’s history”. 

Shameema Firdous, a three-time MLA from Srinagar’s Habba Kadal constituency, said she was anguished to see the name of Habba Kadal removed in the Commission draft proposal and merged into three other constituencies.

 “It’s a fact that Habba Khatoon was a revered queen and poetess from Kashmir and wife of Kashmiri King Yousuf Shah Chak. The constituency was named after her. She represented Kashmir’s culture, tradition and literature. Removing her name is an open assault on our history and an attempt to decimate our collective sense of the past. It seems there is a move to take our new generation away from the icons of Kashmir by renaming these constituencies,” Firdous said.

 Another prominent name removed from Srinagar is Amira Kadal, named after Afghan governor Amir Khan Jawan Sher who built the iconic Shergari Fort and restored the Sona Lank canal and set up an irrigation system in place.  

The NC, in its formal response to the delimitation panel on Monday, also highlighted the removal of the name of the Amira Kadal constituency, and termed it as “an attempt to obliterate history”. 

Qazigund, also known as the Gateway of Kashmir and home to the Valley’s first tunnel named after Jawaharlal Nehru, also has been removed from the electoral map.  

 In Jammu, there is anger over the removal of the name of Gandhiji. “The BJP is not able to tolerate the icons followed by the Congress party. It was no surprise that a constituency named Gandhi Nagar was removed and named like Jammu east, Jammu west etc. instead. Similarly, Gulabgarh named after Dogra Maharaja Gulab Singh, who founded the state of J&K, has been removed. The delimitation exercise is faulty to the extent that it has put a tail where the head should be,” Mission Statehood president Sunil Dimple said.

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