The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar on Tuesday said that the 126 assembly and 14 parliamentary seats in Assam will remain the same following the process of delimitation.
"In connection with the ongoing delimitation exercise, we held discussions with political parties and other organisations in the last two days. We also met around 60 civil groups and organisations. In the delimitation exercise, we will do our best to take into account all of the political parties' and organisations' suggestions," CEC said.
Reacting to Assam Congress president Bhupen Borah's allegations that the delimitation exercise is a 'match-fixing' exercise, Rajiv Kumar said, "We are habituated to hearing this. There is no need to fix anything because the initial disclosure was made, and we have been accepting suggestions before the completion of delimitation."
The CEC said that they wanted to hold a discussion with the stakeholders before they publish the draft of the delimitation exercise.
Rajiv Kumar informed that those who participated in the exercise included the TMC, BJP, CPI, CPI(M), NCP, Asom Gana Parishad, AIDUF, Bodoland People's Front, United People's Party Liberal, and three more registered parties, Assam Jatiya Parishad, Lok Raksha Party and Raijor Dal. According to this list, Congress skipped the meeting.
"126 assembly seats and 14 parliamentary seats will remain the same. We have given time by extending the date to April 15 and during that time anybody can give their suggestion to us. We will publish a draft and will give one-month time for taking suggestions on it," the Chief Election Commissioner said.
Speaking about suggestions the poll body received, CEC said, "one idea they provided was instead of the 2001 Census, we could consider the 2011 census. Another suggestion they gave was to increase the parliamentary constituencies, instead of keeping them constant. A recommendation was that there should be a provision of 30 per cent variation in the areas of upper Assam, where the population increase is minimal."
The CEC further said, "The question has been asked when delimitation was stopped in 2008, why it has suddenly started, and when delimitation is due in 2026, why it is being carried out now."
According to Rajiv Kumar, these suggestions were competing and conflicting, having people on both sides of the claim.
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