GUWAHATI: CEC (Chief Election Commissioner) Rajiv Kumar said that the Election Commission of India will go ahead with the constituency delimitation process by taking the aspirations and suggestions of all stakeholders in Assam into consideration. The process will be fully transparent, and the Commission will not succumb to any diktat, he said.
Speaking to the media after interactions with nine political parties and over 60 civil organizations since March 27, the CEC said, “This delimitation process will only realign the constituencies without increasing or decreasing the existing number of constituencies. The number of constituencies could change in the 2026 delimitation exercise. Those who could not interact with us this time can send their suggestions to us through their respective deputy commissioners until April 15, 2023. After taking all suggestions into consideration, we will publish the draft realignment. After one month of publishing the draft constituencies, we will hear public’s opinion again in Guwahati. We cannot say when the process will be complete. However, we can assure the people of Assam that we will delimit the constituencies by taking the aspirations of the people, their geographical locations, administrative convenience, communications, etc., into consideration.”
On the allegation that the Election Commission of India is working with a ‘fixed mindset’, the CEC said, “We often hear such allegations. We base our work on two aspects: stakeholder participation and transparency. We don’t work under anybody’s diktat. We faced questions like, Why has the 2001 census data been taken for the delimitation process? Why is the Election Commission doing the job instead of the Delimitation Commission? Why is there no increase in the number of constituencies, etc.? However, the civil organisations want the delimitation to be a peaceful exercise. It’s a healthy and encouraging sign for the state. We have taken the 2001 census database as per legal rights. Some say that delimitation should have been done after the publication of the NRC. However, the NRC and delimitation are two different issues. There is no legal bar to continuing the NRC and delimitation simultaneously. Delimitation falls under Section 8A of the Re-Representation of the People’s Act, 1950. We will take into account the population growth, SC and ST reservations, rights of the indigenous people of Assam, etc., while finalizing the process.”
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