‘No govt role in EC’s delimitation, don’t fall prey to rumours’: Assam CM
On reports in various local news outlets on how some constituencies will be reshaped once delimitation is over, Sarma refuted and said that EC has not validated such speculations and urged opposition legislators not to fall prey to speculations on various media outlets
The state government has no role to play in the ongoing delimitation exercise being undertaken by the Election Commission of India, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Monday in a response to a question by Congress MLA Rekibuddin Ahmed during the current assembly budget session on how the delimitation exercise would be carried out.
He said that EC has informed the state government that a fresh delimitation exercise has begun in Assam, however, his government has no information on when the process will be over.
The Election Commission is carrying out a fresh delimitation exercise to redraw assembly and parliamentary constituencies in the state.
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“We can’t say when this process would end as state government is not directly or indirectly linked with it. Our role would be limited to providing whatever data EC seeks from us regarding the process,” said the chief minister in the state assembly on Monday.
On reports in various local news outlets on how some constituencies will be reshaped once delimitation is over, Sarma refuted and said that EC has not validated such speculations and urged opposition legislators not to fall prey to speculations on various media outlets.
“I can officially say that there’s no veracity of those claims and they are not based on any draft prepared by EC,” he said.
He said that the delimitation process is starting afresh and to carry it forward an EC team will visit Assam this month.
EC started a fresh delimitation exercise for Assam beginning January 1 following assurances from the state government that the present law and order situation in the state is conducive for the same.
According to EC officials, prior to the delimitation exercise of constituencies in Assam, the full bench of the Election Commission in Assam will meet and hold discussions with various stakeholders, including political parties and civil society
A team led by chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar and two election commissioners Anup Chandra Pandey and Arup Goyal will visit Assam from March 26 to March 28.
The last delimitation exercise in Assam was undertaken in 1976 based on figures from the 1971 census. Fresh delimitation exercise in 126 assembly and 14 parliamentary seats would take place based on 2001 census figures.
A fresh delimitation exercise in Assam was earlier suspended in 2008 following suggestions by the then Congress government in the state that it might create law and order problems.
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To this, Sarma said that it is a false belief that the earlier delimitation process was stopped due to the National Register of Citizens (NRC), (which was updated under the directions of the Supreme Court).
“It was done based on what the then Congress government had feared. The process is beginning now as the law-and-order situation in Assam is good at present,” he added.
The delimitation is an act of redrawing boundaries of Lok Sabha and state assembly seats to represent changes in population. It is an act to provide for the readjustment of the allocation of seats in the House of the people to the states, the total number of seats in the legislative assembly of each state, the division of each state and each Union Territory having a legislative assembly.