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18th December 2023 (9 Topics)

One person, one vote, one value


Next Delimitation Commission must ensure fair representation for minorities, tackling both quantity and quality of vote dilution effectively.

Constitutional Safeguards

  • Quantitative and Qualitative dilution: Articles 81, 170, and 327 ensure fair delimitation, preventing both quantitative and qualitative dilution of vote value.
  • Maintain Electoral process: Independent commissions, led by retired judges, maintain the quality of the electoral process.
  • Data suggestions: National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution and the Sachar Committee Report: in a majority of the seats reserved for SCs by the Delimitation Commission (1972-76), the population of Muslims was more than 50% and also higher than the SC population.

Historical Delimitation Orders

  • Background: Four delimitation commissions shaped electoral boundaries in 1952, 1962, 1972, and 2002, impacting representation and population ratios.
  • Legislative amendments freeze population figures, affecting delimitation decisions.
  • Minority Status: At present, the share of Muslims MPs in Parliament is only around 4.42%, whereas the Muslim population is 14.2%.

Vote Value Disparities:

  • Dilution of vote value: The population of Rajasthan, Haryana, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Gujarat has increased by more than 125% between 1971 and 2011, whereas the population of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, and Odisha has increased by less than 100% due to stricter population control measures.
  • Population growth disparities across states create significant vote value variations, leading to both quantitative and qualitative dilution.
  • Issues:Minorities face qualitative dilution through practices like cracking, stacking, and packing, impacting their parliamentary representation.
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