Election Commission

In Assam both the ruling alliance and the opposition parties slammed the delimitation proposals for assembly and parliamentary seats in Assam released by the Election Commission on June 20.

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma expressed his disappointment over the division of his Jalukbari constituency, while the opposition parties including All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) accused the EC of favouring the BJP and conspiring to protect their vote bank.

The draft delimitation document, announced by the poll panel on June 20, maintains the number of assembly seats in Assam at 126 and Lok Sabha constituencies at 14, with the state also having seven Rajya Sabha seats.

The draft proposes an increase in the number of assembly seats reserved for Scheduled Castes from eight to nine and for Scheduled Tribes from 16 to 19.

For parliamentary constituencies, two have been suggested for the ST category and one for the SC community.

The commission’s plan involves redrawing the geographical boundaries of most constituencies, both at the assembly and Lok Sabha levels, while eliminating some seats and creating new ones.

Responding to the draft, chief minister Sarma expressed his sadness over the division of his Jalukbari constituency but also welcomed the draft as it “reflects the sentiments of Assam”.

Assam Congress president Bhupen Kumar Borah questioned the Election Commission for hastily publishing the draft while the matter is still under consideration by the Supreme Court.

He highlighted that the SC had set the final hearing date for July 25, and viewed the EC’s release of the draft as a direct affront to the Supreme Court.

Borah emphasized that the state Congress did not oppose the delimitation exercise in principle but had sought clarification from EC officials earlier in the year, without receiving a satisfactory response.

He criticized the EC for seemingly acting as an extended arm of the BJP.

Meanwhile, AIUDF alleged that the delimitation exercise has targeted the minority Muslim population of the state to undermine their political rights.

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