Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday said the current delimitation law gives a premium to lawbreakers and he believes population should not be the only criterion in delimiting constituencies.
"As of now, our policy of delimitation is constituencies' population. One point I want to raise, the central government has told us that you control the population and some have controlled the population, and some have not. Should a delimitation process give a premium to those who are violating the policy and you are punishing those who are going by the policy?" Sarma questioned, speaking about the demographic change in terms of the population across the state.
Further, CM Sarma noted Parliament will definitely debate the matter during future delimitations.
"Today's delimitation law is giving premium to lawbreakers. In my view, the population should not be a criterion in delimiting constituencies but there should be other criteria also. Law of the Parliament as of now is that the population is the main criterion," Sarma said.
There are fears in Assam that the delimitation process may give birth to additional constituencies in districts where population explosion has been rampant in the past few decades.
On Saturday, a day ahead of the delimitation process was set to commence, the Assam cabinet approved the re-merger of four districts with their parent districts, citing administrative efficiency. Hojai was merged with Nagaon, Biswanath with Sonitpur, Bajali with Barpeta, and Tamulpur with Baksa.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday said it had initiated the process for delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary Constituencies in Assam. Census figures of 2001 will be used for the purpose of readjustment of Constituencies in the state.
The process of delimitation was in pursuance of the request received from the Union Ministry of Law and Justice. Delimitation falls under Section 8A of the Re Representation of the People Act, 1950.
Under the provisions of the Delimitation Act of 1972, the last delimitation of constituencies in the State of Assam was done on the basis of census figures in 1971 by the then Delimitation Commission in 1976.
(with inputs from ANI)