Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday called the Election Commission of India (ECI)’s decision to carry out delimitation in the state a “breakthrough”, adding that it would “safeguard Assam’s future”, even as the delimitation has evoked sharp reactions from Opposition parties in the state.
The Election Commission had announced the process of delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in Assam on 27th of December. It was said it would be based on Census data from 2001.
The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee and All India Democratic Front of India have opposed this decision and have termed it a political move by the BJP to polarize votes. They have questioned why the 2001 census is being considered instead of 2011.
Reacting to the Opposition allegations at a press conference, Sarma said,” In 2022, delimitation is the best decision that has been taken. The NRC was unsuccessful and the Assam Accord also did not live up to expectations. Delimitation can be one exercise that can safeguard Assam’s future for the next two decades at least. Also it’s not political at all. It’s constitutional.
“There will be people challenging it, but it will be done as per data.”
He further said, “The parliamentary act says delimitation has to be done based on the 2001 census, that is why it is being considered. It is very strange that some people are saying by using 2001 census BJP will be befitted . So many things have changed since 2001, new districts, change in demographics, how can the BJP benefit from something from 2001? It is true that the population of the majority have been decreasing but minority population is static.”
“Population shouldn’t be the only factor for delimitation. But yes, we will have to follow the law of the parliament that says that constituencies have to be divided on basis of population. There is definitely a change in demography but after 2021 census comes out we will know for sure.”
Assam currently has 14 Lok Sabha seats and 126 Assembly constituencies. The EC had also issued a directive banning the creation of new administrative units in the state with effect from January 1 until the completion of the exercise.
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