Desh Ki Baat

Election Commission to begin delimitation exercise in Assam

Election Commission to begin delimitation process for Assam’s constituencies

The Election Commission has stated that it has begun the process of delimitation of both assembly and parliamentary constituencies in Assam.

What is Delimitation?

Delimitation is the process of redrawing the boundaries of the constituencies for the Parliament and Assembly.

It is “the act or process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country or a province having a legislative body.”

The process of delimitation is carried out by a Delimitation Commission. The Commission has been constituted four times in India- in 1952 under the Delimitation Commission Act, 1952, in 1963 under Delimitation Commission Act, 1962, in 1973 under Delimitation Act, 1972 and in 2002 under Delimitation Act, 2002.

The EC has also asked the Assam Government to ban the creation of new administrative units from 1st January 2023 till the exercise is over. The exercise will be done based on 2001 Census data as mandated in Article 170 of the Indian Constitution. The exercise is being carried out as per Section 8A of the Representation of the People Act, 1950.

Why is delimitation necessary?

The last delimitation of the constituencies in Assam was done in 1976 based on the 1971 census under the provisions of the Delimitation Act of 1972. Assam currently has 14 Lok Sabha and 126 Assembly constituencies. Delimitation allows us to follow the principle of “One Vote, One Value” and provide equal representation to different sections of people.

The exercise is being carried out at the request of the Ministry of Law and Justice vide a letter dated 15th November 2022.

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Delimitation was also a promise made by the BJP government, which is currently ruling the state. They want the process to be carried smoothly to implement Clause VI of the Assam Accord, which states “Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.” Seats will also be reserved for the SCs (Scheduled Castes) and STs (Scheduled Tribes) as stated in Articles 330 & 332 of the Constitution of India.

As Assam will undergo an election in 2026, this process is essential in ensuring they fulfill the promise.

This process is opposed by the opposition, who want to wait until the NRC (National Register of Citizens) process is over in the state.

Who is leading the Commission?

Chief  Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar leads the Commission. Election commissioners Anup Chandra Pandey and Arun Goel are also a part of it.

What is the process?

The Commission will come up with its guidelines and methodology. it “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 areas.”

Once the process is completed, a draft proposal of the constituencies as finalized by the Commission will be published in the Central and State Gazettes to invite suggestions or objections from the public.

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Harshita Bajaj

Harshita has a background in Psychology and Criminology and is currently pursuing her PhD in Criminology. She can be found reading crime thrillers (or any other book for that matter) or binge-watching shows on Netflix when she is not in hibernation.
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