GUWAHATI: The All Assam Students' Union (AASU) has said that while the delimitation of Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies in the state is necessary, but the interests of the indigenous people must be protected during the process.
"The process should not be for the benefit of any political party", AASU's general secretary Sankor Jyoti Baruah said on Friday.
Talking to The Sentinel, Baruah said that the concept of Constitutional safeguards for the Assamese people is enshrined in Clause 6 of the Assam Accord of 1985. He said that Constitutional safeguards include protection of the political rights of the indigenous people. Pointing out that the AASU had been favour of the delimitation exercise from the very beginning, Baruah said the new delimitation process provides scope for protecting the political rights of the indigenous people.
He said that before the main part of the delimitation exercise start, the Election Commission of India should seek the views of all stakeholders. He said that the Election Commission must ensure that the delimitation exercise is not carried out for the benefit of any political party. Rather, in view of the illegal migration problem faced by the state, the interests of the indigenous people should be given paramount importance.
It is pertinent to mention that the Union Ministry of Law & Justice has asked the Election Commission to conduct the delimitation of parliamentary and Assembly constituencies in Assam. Under the provisions of the Delimitation Act, 1972, the last delimitation of constituencies in Assam was done on the basis of census figures, 1971 by the then Delimitation Commission in 1976. The Election Commission declared the new delimitation exercise on December 27 last on the basis of the Census of 2001.
The Election Commission will design and finalize its own guidelines and methodology for the purpose of delimiting the constituencies. During the delimitation exercise, the Election Commission will keep in mind the physical features, existing boundaries of administrative units, facility of communication, public convenience and as far as practicable, the constituencies will be kept as geographically compact areas.