Delimitation exercise: ECI team in Guwahati for ground assessment

GUWAHATI: A high-level delegation from the Election Commission of India (ECI) arrived here on Sunday evening in connection with the ongoing delimitation exercise of Parliamentary and Assembly constituencies in Assam.

The Commission, comprising Chief Election Commissioner of India Rajiv Kumar, election commissioners, Anup Chandra Pandey and Arun Goel, along with other ECI officials, will be undertaking the three-day visit (from Sunday till March 28) for assessing the ground reality and knowing the expectations of the stakeholders and the general public regarding the ongoing delimitation exercise.

Assam has 14 Lok Sabha constituencies and 126 Assembly constituencies.

In December last year, the ECI had announced the delimitation exercise of the Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in Assam on the basis of the 2001 census figures.

Official sources here said that the ECI team subsequently met the chief electoral officer, Assam Nitin Khade and discussed the delimitation exercise in depth.

During the brief sojourn, the commission will interact with political parties, public representatives, members of the civil societies, social organisations on March 27 and with state administration officials, including district election officers/deputy commissioners of all districts of the state at Radisson Blu Hotel here on the concluding day of the visit.

It may be mentioned here that the Commission, apart from hearing the stakeholders on March 27, has also decided to extend the facility for the stakeholders/public for sending their suggestions/inputs till April 5, 2023 at the email ID and for those who cannot come to meet the Commission.

“The commission always comes after the draft publication of the proposal. It will again come after the publication of the draft proposal in newspapers. Thus, stakeholders will be getting two opportunities to interact with the commission to make the delimitation process more inclusive, participatory and transparent,” Assam chief electoral officer Nitin Khade had stated in a statement issued on the eve of the ECI team’s visit.

Delimitation is the process of fixing limits or boundaries of the territorial constituencies in a country or a state with a legislative body.

The commission for the delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, and Jammu and Kashmir was constituted on March 6, 2020.

The move to redraw the Assembly and parliamentary seats of Assam in accordance with Section 8A of the Representation of the People Act, 1950, was initiated following a request from the Union law ministry.

Notably, the delimitation exercise had been kept on hold in Assam since 2008.

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