The Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, declared on Sunday that the upcoming exercise of drawing the boundaries of Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies would protect the future of the state for the next two decades.
During the interview, he stated in the presence of journalists, “The notification issued by the year-end for delimitation is a breakthrough for Assam. We were unsuccessful in NRC (National Register of Citizens). We did not get the desired result through the Assam Accord. But through delimitation, we will be able to safeguard Assam’s future for at least two decades.
Himanta Biswa Sarma asserted that delimitation would be “data-based” and “non-political” as mandated by an Act of Parliament. He highlighted that the exercise must be based on the 2001 Census, as stipulated in the Act.
In addition, he also added, “The policy of delimiting constituencies is based on population. The central government told us to control the population. Some people controlled it, but some did not. So, should the population be the basis of delimitation? By this, you are giving a premium to those who violated the policy and punishing those who abided by it”.
Sarma implored that the Parliament should debate whether areas that did not abide by the population control policy should be punished or rewarded when the next delimitation exercise occurs. He stated that this was a national debate and did not believe that population should be the sole criterion for delimiting constituencies. It is his opinion that other factors should also be taken into account.
He stated that the population explosion in Assam could only be determined after the 2021 Census.
On Saturday, the state’s government remerged four new districts with the districts from which they had been divided before the delimitation process. According to a notification issued by the government, the decision was taken for “administrative expediency and for the benefit of the public.”
Sarma had said, “This decision is not permanent. This is for a transition phase for administrative reasons and in the interest of Assam keeping in mind its future.” However, the opposition parties were against it.
The Assam Jatiya Parishad accused the BJP government of deceiving the people by claiming to restore the district status of four places if they were voted to power in 2026. Furthermore, they argued that Congress had demonstrated a “dictatorial” attitude when it created the four districts for votes.
The Election Commission announced its preference to begin the delimitation exercise in Assam on Tuesday. The 2001 Census data will be utilized to make modifications to the boundaries of the constituencies.
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