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28th December 2022 (7 Topics)

Election Commission to start Assam's delimit exercise

Context

Recently, the Election Commission (EC) has mentioned that it has decided to start delimitation of assembly and parliamentary constituencies in Assam.

  • The poll panel said 2001 census figures would be used for the purpose.

Background:

  • The first delimitation exercise in the Country was carried out by the President (with the help of the Election Commission) in 1950-51.
  • Under the provisions of Delimitation Act, 1972, the last delimitation of constituencies in the state of Assam was done on the basis of census figures, 1971, by the then Delimitation Commission in 1976.
  • The present delimitation of parliamentary constituencies within states has been done on the basis of the 2001 census, under the provisions of Delimitation Act, 2002.
  • However, the Constitution of India was specifically amended (84th amendment) in 2002, not to have interstate delimitation of constituencies till 2026.

In India, such Delimitation Commissions have been constituted 4 times – in 1952 under the Delimitation Commission Act, 1952, in 1963 under Delimitation Commission Act, 1962, in 1973 under Delimitation Act, 1972 and in 2002 under Delimitation Act, 2002.

About

About the Delimitation:

  • Boundary delimitation (or simply delimitation) is the drawing of boundaries, particularly of electoral precincts, states, counties or other municipalities.
  • In the context of elections, it can be called redistribution and is used to prevent unbalance of population across districts.

The working of Delimitation Commission:

  • The Delimitation commissioner Boundary commission of India is a commission established by the Government of India under the provisions of the Delimitation Commission Act.
  • The main task of the commission is redrawing the boundaries of the various assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies based on a recent census.
  • Composition:
    • Retired Supreme Court judge
    • Chief Election Commissioner
    • Respective State Election Commissioners
  • The representation from each State is not changed during this exercise. However, the number of SC and ST seats in a state is changed in accordance with the census.
  • The present delimitation of constituencies has been done on the basis of 2001 census under the provisions of Delimitation Act, 2002.
  • The Commission’s orders cannot be challenged in any court of law.

Why it is important?

  • The procedure is repeated every few years to guarantee that each constituency has an equal number of voters, with the underlying reasoning being that each constituency has one representative in both the Lok Sabha and the state assembly across the nation. As a result, the exercise is performed after each census.
  • Other objectives:
    • To provide equal representation to equal segments of a population.
    • Fair division of geographical areas so that one political party doesn’t have an advantage over others in an election.
    • To follow the principle of “One Vote One Value”.

Constitutional Provisions:

  • Article 170 of the Constitution, census figures (2001) shall be used for the purpose of readjustment of constituencies.
  • Reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes will be provided as per Articles 330 and 332 of the Constitution.

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