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Big story: ECI gives nod to Delimitation exercise in Assam; Centre takes note of Himanta Biswa Sarma govt’s proposal

First Published: 27th December, 2022 15:24 IST

Reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes will be provided as per Articles 330 & 332 of the Constitution of India.

In a big development, the Election Commission of India has initiated the delimitation exercise of Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in Assam. This significant move by the ECI, comes after the Himanta Biswa Sarma government requested the Commission to begin the delimitation exercise. The delimitation will be carried out on the basis of the Section 8A of the Representation of the People Act 1950.

For the purpose of the readjustment of the assembly and parliamentary constituencies, 2001 Census figures will be used, while a ban has been imposed on the creation of new administrative districts with effect from January 1, 2023.

The Commission led by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioners Anup Chandra Pandey and Arun Goel has directed the Chief Electoral Officer of Assam to take up the matter with State Government to issue complete ban on creation of new administrative units w.e.f. 1st January, 2023 till the completion of delimitation exercise in the State.

As mandated under Article 170 of the Constitution, census figures (2001) shall be used for the purpose of readjustment of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies in the State.

Reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes will be provided as per Articles 330 & 332 of the Constitution of India.

The Commission will design and finalize its own guidelines & methodology for the purpose of delimiting the constituencies. During the delimitation exercise, the Commission will keep in mind the physical features, existing boundaries of administrative units, facility of communication, public convenience and as far as practicable, the constituencies will be kept as geographically compact area.

Once a draft proposal of delimitation of constituencies in the State of Assam is finalized by the Commission, it shall be published in the Central and State Gazettes for inviting suggestions/objections from the general public. In this regard, a Notice will also be published in two vernacular newspapers of the State specifying the date and venue for public sittings to be held in the State.

Earlier, on December 15, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had stated that his government has already raised the delimitation issue with the Centre and urged for exercising it as early as possible. Chief Minister said that the delimitaion process was put on hold since the previous governments had cited law and order situation.

Chief Minister Sarma said, “But now we have written (to the Centre) that there will be no law and order situation if the delimitation exercise takes place. I believe the Centre and ECI will definitely take some time bound action.”

Under the provisions of Delimitation Act, 1972, the last delimitation of constituencies in the State of Assam was done on the basis of census figures, 1971 by the then Delimitation Commission in 1976.
In March 6, 2020, last the Central Government had constituted the Commission for the delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, and Jammu & Kashmir. The delimitation exercise has been kept on hold in Assam since 2008.

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