SILCHAR: Assam Police arrested a number of protestors in Karimganj, who were holding a demonstration on Tuesday to protest against the draft delimitation proposal of the Election Commission of India (ECI).
A number of organisations and political parties had earlier called for a 12-hour strike in Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi districts of Barak Valley in the state of Assam as a form of protest against the proposed delimitation draft published by the ECI.
Earlier on June 20, the Election Commission of India had published the draft document for the proposed delimitation of the Assembly and Parliamentary Constituencies in Assam, said an ECI statement.
The delimitation process was dubbed "illegal" by Karimganj Congress MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha, who alleged that the guidelines have not been followed.
Purkayastha said that the guidelines pertaining to the delimitation process have not been followed. The last time when delimitation was done in Assam, the population of Barak Valley stood at 20 lakh, but now it has reached 45 lakh. He also complained that their seats have been reduced.
Moreover, he said that no geographical survey has been conducted in the region. This prompted the MLA to term the whole process as illegal and to organize a protest.
Assam had its last delimitation exercise in 1976, whereas the exercise done currently is based on the Census data of 2001, said the statement.
In its press note, the ECI said that the number of seats in the Legislative Assembly has been retained at 126, while that of the House of People was kept at 14 in the State of Assam.
"19 seats in the Legislative Assembly are proposed to be allocated for Scheduled Tribes out of 126 seats, while 2 seats are proposed to be allocated for Scheduled Tribes out of 14 seats in House of People allocated to the State of Assam. Similarly, 09 seats in the Legislative Assembly are proposed to be allocated for Scheduled Castes, while 1 seat is proposed to be allocated for Scheduled Castes in House of People," the note further read.
Assembly seats for the Scheduled Caste have been increased from 8 to 9 and the seats for ST have been increased from 16 to 19.
The ECI further said that the draft proposal has been prepared on the basis of administrative units like Development Block, Panchayats (VCDC in BTAD) and villages in rural areas. In urban areas, the proposal is based on Municipal Boards and wards, it added.
It was also informed by the ECI that the Commission comprising of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar accompanied by Election Commissioners Anup Chandra Pandey and Arun Goel is scheduled to visit Assam for a public hearing on the draft proposal, again in July.
In the meantime, suggestions and objections regarding the proposed delimitation have been invited from individuals and organizations in the state and they have been asked to submit them before July 11, 2023.