Rajya Sabha MP and Trinamool Congress leader Sushmita Dev to undertake ‘hunger strike’ in protest against the election commission of India’s (ECI) proposed delimitation draft for Assam's 126 assembly seats and 14 Lok Sabha seats and reduction of the number of assembly seats in the Barak Valley.
The TMC leader will begin her protest in Assam’s Silchar from 9 am to 7 pm on Monday.
Earlier on Friday, Dev had addressed the Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Megwal on the delimitation draft stating her displeasure on the delimitation draft published by Election Commission of India.
Sushmita Dev in her letter to the Union law minister stated that “the timing of the delimitation process being commenced after 47 years in Assam since 1976 and the manner in which the old 2001 census instead of the 2021 census has been kept as the base for the said process has no justification. This whole exercise at best is complete non application of the mind on the part of the Ministry or, at worst, a malaise design.”
The TMC MP further clarified that the Constitution of India Article 80 & 170 mentioned that the figures for the first census after the year 2026 have been published, it shall not be necessary to readjust the allocation of seats to the house of the people and the local number of seat to the assembly and the division done on the basis of 1971 census shall stay.
Further, the division of each state into territorial constituencies may be readjusted on the basis of the 2021 census. In view of that, where seats can’t be increased until after a 2026 census which is just only three years away, there is no plausible explanation for the delimitation exercise to commence in Assam, just before the Lok Sabha poll of 2024. Moreover, Dev also demands that the base census year of 2001 should have been changed to the last census of 2011.
Sushmita Dev attacking the EC mentioned that the commission remained silent on the opposition parties objections raised during their visit to Guwahati in March 2023. She also alleged that the statement made by the Chief Minister of Assam on June 20, 2023 regarding delimitation has achieved what NRC & Assam Accord could not after the draft proposal of delimitation was published puts the GoI and Ministry of Law under a dark shadow of doubtful intentions.
The TMC leader requested the Law Minister to reconsider the decision to carry the delimitation in Assam.