ECI publishes final order on Assam delimitation; SC, ST reserved seats increased

IANS Photo

IANS Photo

Guwahati/New Delhi, August 12 (IANS): The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday published the final delimitation order for 19 Parliamentary and 126 Assembly constituencies in Assam. The total number of seats were kept intact in the delimitation exercise as notified by the ECI earlier in its draft proposal.

In an official statement, the poll panel said, “The final proposal has been prepared by the Commission after an extensive and robust consultative exercise with diverse stakeholders, which included three days of public hearings in Guwahati on the draft proposal.”

The ECI conducted two rounds of public hearings on the draft proposal -- before and after publication of the draft. The latest was done in July last week.  

Based on the 2001 Census figures, all the Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in the state were redefined by the ECI.

The poll body said that 19 Assembly and two Lok Sabha seats have been set aside for Scheduled Tribes (STs), while Scheduled Castes (SCs) have been given one Lok Sabha and nine Assembly seats.

As per the final order, SC Assembly seats have increased from eight to nine, while ST Assembly seats have gone up from 16 to 19. Moreover, the seats in the Bodoland area have also been increased by the poll panel in the delimitation proposal.

The ECI also claimed that during the public hearing, it received more than 1,200 suggestions and the final order took into account at least 45 per cent of the proposals and objections that the panel had received.

According to the ECI statement, one Parliamentary and some Assembly constituencies have been given "paired names" such as Darrang-Udalgiri, Hajo-Sualkuchi, Boko-Chaygaon, Nagaon-Batadraba, Bhowanipur-Sorbhog, and Algapur-Katlichera, in view of the demand from the public.

The ECI said that the lowest administrative unit has been taken as "village" in rural areas and "ward" in urban areas in the delimitation exercise. 

Notably, the Election Commission was entrusted with the responsibility of delimiting the Parliamentary and Assembly constituencies of Assam under Section 8-A of the Representation of the People Act, 1950.

The delimitation process in Assam was last carried out in 1976 based on the 1971 Census.