The decks have been cleared for the resumption of delimitation exercise in four Northeast states. The central government on February 28 cancelled its earlier notifications which deferred delimitation in Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh due to security issues.

The delimitation exercise will redraw the boundaries of Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies in the four states.

The rationale given by the government was that the exercise could be carried out “now” as the previous circumstances cease to exist.

The “order” issued by the Legislative Department of the Law Ministry said, “it appears that the circumstances that led to the deferring of the delimitation exercise” in Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland “have ceased to exist and that the delimitation of the constituencies as envisaged under the Delimitation Act, 2002 could be carried out now”.

It said now the president is satisfied that the circumstances that led to the deferring of the delimitation exercise have ceased to exist and “is pleased to rescind the notification … dated the February 8, 2008…”

The order pointed out that a Delimitation Commission was set up under the Delimitation Act, 2002 to readjust the division of each state and union territory into territorial constituencies for the purpose of Lok Sabha and state assembly elections on the basis of census figures of 2001.

The Commission completed the delimitation exercise and the Delimitation Order, 2008 in respect of all the states, except in these four Northeast states, it said.

Addressing all the four states individually, the order said the President on being satisfied that a situation had arisen where the unity and integrity of India was likely to be threatened and there was serious threat to the peace and public order, deferred the delimitation exercise.

“In India, such Delimitation Commissions have been constituted four times – in 1952 under the Delimitation Commission Act, 1952, in 1963 under Delimitation Commission Act, 1962, in 1973 under Delimitation Act, 1972 and in 2002 under Delimitation Act, 2002,” it said.

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