National

ECI publishes draft delimitation proposal for Assam; Suggestions & Objections invited

  • Assembly seats to the districts have been allocated on the basis of category of the district. Category A, B and C districts have been allocated seats based on average AC population of 1,90,397 (State average AC population -10%), 2,11,552 (State average AC population) and 2,32,707 (State average AC population +10%) respectively. Number of seats for a particular category district has been arrived at by dividing the total population of the district by the average AC population of category A, B, C as applicable to the district. The fraction of equal to or greater than 0.5 has been treated as 1(one) and fraction of less than 0.5 has been treated 0 (Zero). On this basis, 122 Assembly seats are allotted to the districts. 04 Assembly seats were left out from allocation while adopting this criterion. All the districts having a fraction in the range of 0.25-0.49 were sorted out and of such 10 districts, 04 districts having the largest geographical area were allocated one seat each i.e., Cachar, Kokrajhar, West Karbi Anglong and Udalguri.

Reservation of seats for SCs and STs

  • Total number of ACs to be reserved for SCs has been determined based on the proportion of population of SCs to the total population of the State:

2001 SC Population                              = 1825949

2001 Total Population                                        = 26655528

Proportion of SCs                                             = 0.0685

Total No. of ACs in the State                = 126

No. of Assembly seats to be reserved     = 8.63, say, 9

Total No. of PCs                                               = 14

No. of PCs to be reserved                                  = 0.96, say, 1

  • Then, SC seats have been allocated to the districts first in proportion to proportional SC population in the district to the total SC population in the State. Within the districts, the seats with highest proportional SC population (to the total population of AC) have been reserved for SC. Similarly, the PC with highest proportional SC population (to the total population of the PC) has been reserved for SC.
  • As per clause (6) of Article 332 of the Constitution, “No person who is not a member of a Scheduled Tribe of any autonomous district of the State of Assam shall be eligible for election to the Legislative Assembly of the State from any constituency of that district”: Accordingly, all seats in the three Autonomous districts (i.e., 6) are meant for STs residing in districts. In the remaining districts (except 03 Autonomous Districts), Total number of ACs to be reserved for STs have been determined based on the proportion of population of STs in these districts to the total population of the State and this number comes to 13.
  • As per provision to the clause (6) of Article 332 of the Constitution, “Provided that for elections to the Legislative Assembly of the State of Assam, the representation of the Scheduled Tribes and non-Scheduled Tribes in the constituencies included in the Bodoland Territorial Areas District, so notified, and existing prior to the constitution of Bodoland Territorial Areas District, shall be maintained”. Accordingly, 06 number of ACs in 04 Bodoland districts (existing 06 ST ACs out of total 11) have been proposed for STs out of total 15 seats.
  • Remaining 07 seats (13-6) have been allotted to the remaining districts (Except 03 Autonomous districts and 04 BTAD districts). Then, ACs have been arranged in decreasing order of Proportional ST population (to the total population of AC) in the ACs in these districts and top 7 seats have been reserved for the STs.
  • No. of ST seats in 03 Autonomous Districts                   = 6

Total ST Population in remaining 28 Districts                = 2727179

Total Population of remaining 28 Districts                     = 25654138

%age of ST in these 28 Districts                                    = 10.63%

No. of ST seats in these 28 Districts= 120*10.63/100      = 13

ST seats in BTAD                                                                     = 6

ST seats in remaining 24 Districts                                  = 7

Total ST seats                                                               = 19

  • As per Article 330 (2): The number of seats reserved in any State or Union territory for the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes under clause (1) shall bear, as nearly as may be, the same proportion to the total number of seats allotted to that State or Union territory in the House of the People as the population of the Scheduled Castes in the State or Union territory or of the Scheduled Tribes in the State or Union territory or part of the State or Union territory, as the case may be, in respect of which seats are so reserved, bears to the total population of the State or Union territory.

2001 ST Population                  =33,08,570

2001 Total Population   = 26655528

Proportion of STs                     = 0.124

No. of ST PCs              =1.74, say, 2

Background

It may be recalled that the Commission visited Assam from 26.3.2023 to 28.03.2023 and held personal interactions with political parties, public representatives, civil societies, social organizations, members of public and officers of the Administration in the State including Chief Electoral Officer, Deputy Commissioners of all Districts of the State and District Election Officers regarding delimitation exercise in the State.  In total, representations from 11 Political Parties and 71 other organizations were received and considered.

The Commission went through all the representations inter-alia covering the following the major suggestions:

  • Delimitation on the basis of 2001 census: Some groups were in favour and some against this.
  • The change of demographic pattern of the State should be looked into during implementation of delimitation process. In some districts of Assam, the population growth is low while in some districts, it is abnormally high. Low population growth districts should not be put to disadvantage and number of seats in these districts should not be reduced.
  • At least variation of 25% should be allowed vis-à-vis the general norms, as required, to ensure that no social group feels alienated due to inadequate representation. This would also take care of diverse geographical features of Assam during the delimitation exercise.
  • The rights of indigenous people of Assam should be protected in the delimitation exercise.
  • Considering the lower demographic change in Upper Assam, seats in Upper Assam should not be decreased as those who are following the National Birth Policy should not suffer. The population pattern in lower Assam is higher for which the Commission should look into seriously.
  • In upper Assam, Dhemaji and Jonai AC seats should be reserved for ST. Simultaneously, there was a demand that all seats in Dhemaji district should not be kept reserved.
  • There should be one seat reserved for ST in Kamrup District. There was demand for new AC named Chamaria in Kamrup District. Dudhnoi AC seat should be reserved for ST in Goalpara District.
  • Number of ST seats in Bodoland should remain intact and Kokrajhar should be reserved for ST. The number of AC seats in Bodoland should be increased.
  • Number of ST seats should be increased in plain areas for benefit of plain tribes as their population has increased over the years.
  • Seats should be increased in West Karbi Anglong District as presently the district has only one seat.
  • There were suggestions based on local factors e.g., inclusion of certain areas in particular constituencies, compactness of certain areas in one AC, keeping interests of communities while carving out the seats.

JUNE 20, 2023

  • Assembly seats to the districts have been allocated on the basis of category of the district. Category A, B and C districts have been allocated seats based on average AC population of 1,90,397 (State average AC population -10%), 2,11,552 (State average AC population) and 2,32,707 (State average AC population +10%) respectively. Number of seats for a particular category district has been arrived at by dividing the total population of the district by the average AC population of category A, B, C as applicable to the district. The fraction of equal to or greater than 0.5 has been treated as 1(one) and fraction of less than 0.5 has been treated 0 (Zero). On this basis, 122 Assembly seats are allotted to the districts. 04 Assembly seats were left out from allocation while adopting this criterion. All the districts having a fraction in the range of 0.25-0.49 were sorted out and of such 10 districts, 04 districts having the largest geographical area were allocated one seat each i.e., Cachar, Kokrajhar, West Karbi Anglong and Udalguri.

Reservation of seats for SCs and STs

  • Total number of ACs to be reserved for SCs has been determined based on the proportion of population of SCs to the total population of the State:

2001 SC Population                              = 1825949

2001 Total Population                                        = 26655528

Proportion of SCs                                             = 0.0685

Total No. of ACs in the State                = 126

No. of Assembly seats to be reserved     = 8.63, say, 9

Total No. of PCs                                               = 14

No. of PCs to be reserved                                  = 0.96, say, 1

  • Then, SC seats have been allocated to the districts first in proportion to proportional SC population in the district to the total SC population in the State. Within the districts, the seats with highest proportional SC population (to the total population of AC) have been reserved for SC. Similarly, the PC with highest proportional SC population (to the total population of the PC) has been reserved for SC.
  • As per clause (6) of Article 332 of the Constitution, “No person who is not a member of a Scheduled Tribe of any autonomous district of the State of Assam shall be eligible for election to the Legislative Assembly of the State from any constituency of that district”: Accordingly, all seats in the three Autonomous districts (i.e., 6) are meant for STs residing in districts. In the remaining districts (except 03 Autonomous Districts), Total number of ACs to be reserved for STs have been determined based on the proportion of population of STs in these districts to the total population of the State and this number comes to 13.
  • As per provision to the clause (6) of Article 332 of the Constitution, “Provided that for elections to the Legislative Assembly of the State of Assam, the representation of the Scheduled Tribes and non-Scheduled Tribes in the constituencies included in the Bodoland Territorial Areas District, so notified, and existing prior to the constitution of Bodoland Territorial Areas District, shall be maintained”. Accordingly, 06 number of ACs in 04 Bodoland districts (existing 06 ST ACs out of total 11) have been proposed for STs out of total 15 seats.
  • Remaining 07 seats (13-6) have been allotted to the remaining districts (Except 03 Autonomous districts and 04 BTAD districts). Then, ACs have been arranged in decreasing order of Proportional ST population (to the total population of AC) in the ACs in these districts and top 7 seats have been reserved for the STs.
  • No. of ST seats in 03 Autonomous Districts                   = 6

Total ST Population in remaining 28 Districts                = 2727179

Total Population of remaining 28 Districts                     = 25654138

%age of ST in these 28 Districts                                    = 10.63%

No. of ST seats in these 28 Districts= 120*10.63/100      = 13

ST seats in BTAD                                                                     = 6

ST seats in remaining 24 Districts                                  = 7

Total ST seats                                                               = 19

  • As per Article 330 (2): The number of seats reserved in any State or Union territory for the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes under clause (1) shall bear, as nearly as may be, the same proportion to the total number of seats allotted to that State or Union territory in the House of the People as the population of the Scheduled Castes in the State or Union territory or of the Scheduled Tribes in the State or Union territory or part of the State or Union territory, as the case may be, in respect of which seats are so reserved, bears to the total population of the State or Union territory.

2001 ST Population                  =33,08,570

2001 Total Population   = 26655528

Proportion of STs                     = 0.124

No. of ST PCs              =1.74, say, 2

Background

It may be recalled that the Commission visited Assam from 26.3.2023 to 28.03.2023 and held personal interactions with political parties, public representatives, civil societies, social organizations, members of public and officers of the Administration in the State including Chief Electoral Officer, Deputy Commissioners of all Districts of the State and District Election Officers regarding delimitation exercise in the State.  In total, representations from 11 Political Parties and 71 other organizations were received and considered.

The Commission went through all the representations inter-alia covering the following the major suggestions:

  • Delimitation on the basis of 2001 census: Some groups were in favour and some against this.
  • The change of demographic pattern of the State should be looked into during implementation of delimitation process. In some districts of Assam, the population growth is low while in some districts, it is abnormally high. Low population growth districts should not be put to disadvantage and number of seats in these districts should not be reduced.
  • At least variation of 25% should be allowed vis-à-vis the general norms, as required, to ensure that no social group feels alienated due to inadequate representation. This would also take care of diverse geographical features of Assam during the delimitation exercise.
  • The rights of indigenous people of Assam should be protected in the delimitation exercise.
  • Considering the lower demographic change in Upper Assam, seats in Upper Assam should not be decreased as those who are following the National Birth Policy should not suffer. The population pattern in lower Assam is higher for which the Commission should look into seriously.
  • In upper Assam, Dhemaji and Jonai AC seats should be reserved for ST. Simultaneously, there was a demand that all seats in Dhemaji district should not be kept reserved.
  • There should be one seat reserved for ST in Kamrup District. There was demand for new AC named Chamaria in Kamrup District. Dudhnoi AC seat should be reserved for ST in Goalpara District.
  • Number of ST seats in Bodoland should remain intact and Kokrajhar should be reserved for ST. The number of AC seats in Bodoland should be increased.
  • Number of ST seats should be increased in plain areas for benefit of plain tribes as their population has increased over the years.
  • Seats should be increased in West Karbi Anglong District as presently the district has only one seat.
  • There were suggestions based on local factors e.g., inclusion of certain areas in particular constituencies, compactness of certain areas in one AC, keeping interests of communities while carving out the seats.

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