SILCHAR: Police on Tuesday detained protesters in Karimganj who were staging a demonstration against the proposed delimitation draft by the Election Commission of India (ECI). Several organisations and political parties have called for a 12-hour bandh in Barak Valley, Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi districts of the State as a protest against the proposed delimitation draft by the ECI. The Election Commission of India on June 20 published the draft proposal for delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary Constituencies for Assam, said a statement by ECI.
Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha, Congress MLA, Karimganj district has called the process “illegal” citing that no guidelines have been followed in this delimitation. “No guidelines have been followed in this delimitation process. When delimitation was done last time, population of Barak Valley was 20 lakh, now it is 45 lakh. But now, our seats have been reduced. No geographical survey has been done in the region. This whole process is illegal which is protested by us,” Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha said. The last delimitation exercise in Assam took place back in 1976 while the current exercise is based on the 2001 Census data, added the statement.
“The number of seats in the Legislative Assembly and the House of People in the State of Assam has been retained as 126 and 14 respectively,” said the ECI in its press note. “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, 9 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,” it further read. Scheduled Caste assembly seats have increased from 8 to 9 and ST assembly seats have increased from 16 to 19.
“The draft proposal has been prepared based on administrative units i.e., Development block, Panchayats (VCDC in BTAD) and villages in rural areas and Municipal Boards, wards in urban areas”, the ECI said. “The Commission comprising of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar along with Election Commissioners Anup Chandra Pandey and Arun Goel is slated to visit Assam again in July for a public hearing on the draft proposal, the ECI said. Meanwhile, individuals and organizations have been asked to submit their suggestions and objections regarding the proposed delimitation before July 11.