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Assam CM Calls Delimitation ‘Harsh’ But Effective To Safeguard Demographic Changes


Last Updated: January 01, 2023, 13:57 IST

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
 (File photo: PTI)

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
(File photo: PTI)

“What the Assam agitation and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) couldn’t do, delimitation can. It’s Harsh but it’s for safeguarding the Demographic Changes in Assembly and in Constituencies,” Sarma said.

A day after the Assam government merged four districts with others and changed administrative jurisdiction of a few villages, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma Sunday called Delimitation “harsh,” but “effective to safeguard demographic changes.”

“What the Assam agitation and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) couldn’t do, delimitation can. It’s Harsh but it’s for safeguarding the Demographic Changes in Assembly and in Constituencies,” Sarma said.

Sarma highlighted that population should not be the criteria for delimitation. “The population of particular majority has come down, and the minority numbers are static,” he added.

The merger came a day before the Election Commission’s freeze on redrawing administrative units comes into effect on January 1, 2023.

The EC had issued a directive ban on creation of new administrative units until the delimitation exercise was complete in the state.

Announcing the merger at a presser the chief minister said the decisions have been taken with a “heavy heart keeping in mind the interests of Assam, its society and administrative exigencies.”

Sarma emphasized that this was only “temporary” and did not disclose the reason behind the decision.

He said that a team of state ministers will visit the districts, which have been merged and interact with leading organisations and citizens to explain the reasons behind the decisions which can’t be disclosed publicly.

On December 27, the EC announced the process of delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in Assam, saying it would be based on Census data from 2001.

Under the provisions of the Delimitation Act, 1972, the last delimitation of constituencies in Assam was effected on the basis of 1971 census figures by the then Delimitation Commission in 1976, the poll panel noted, PTI reported.

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