Election Commission
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ECI publishes final delimitation order for Assembly & Parliamentary Constituencies of State of Assam, after extensive consultations with stakeholders

Over 1200 representations received were considered before finalizing the proposal; 45% of suggestions/objections received have been addressed in the final order

In the final order, ECI revises existing nomenclature of 19 ACs and 01 PC

Number of Assembly seats retained at 126 and Lok Sabha seats at 14

19 ACs and 2 PCs reserved for STs; 9 ACs and 01 PC for SCs

Posted On: 11 AUG 2023 6:19PM by PIB Delhi

The Election Commission of India today published the final order for delimitation of Parliamentary & Assembly Constituencies for State of Assam, as provided for in Section 8-A of the Representation of the People Act, 1950. The final order was notified and published in the gazettes of the Central Government and State of Assam. The final proposal has been prepared by the Commission after an extensive and robust consultative exercise with diverse stakeholders which included three days of public hearings in Guwahati on the draft proposal in July 2023 and pre- meeting before drafting of the report in March 2023.

The Commission, during the public hearings on draft delimitation proposal received many conflicting representations from members of the public, political parties, and organizations for change of nomenclature of some Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies, highlighting the historical, cultural, political, and ethnic significance of the region. CEC Shri Kumar had appreciated the ability of different groups of Assam to present their conflicting claims on various issues in a respectful and friendly manner, without creating confrontations or hostility.

All representations were duly heard by the Commission, comprising Chief Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar, Election Commissioners Shri Anup Chandra Pandey and Shri Arun Goel and were considered and assessed, within the constitutional and statutory provisions, before finalising the proposal. A total of 1222 representations were received w.r.t. Commission’s draft proposal, in public sittings or otherwise. Around 45% of the total 1222 suggestions/objections received in the Commission have been addressed in the final proposal. In around 5% of the representations, the demands raised were found beyond the constitutional and statutory provisions and hence could not be acceded to. The requests made in all the remaining suggestions/objections were not found feasible to accommodate.

All Assembly and Parliamentary Constituencies in the State have been delimited based on the 2001 Census as provided in Article 170 and Article 82 of the Constitution. The census figures of 2001, as published by the Census Commissioner have thus alone been considered for this purpose. The number of seats in the Legislative Assembly in the State of Assam have been kept as 126 and number of seats allocated in the House of People for the State of Assam as 14. Articles 170 & 82 laid down that the number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of each State and the allocation of seats in the House of the people to the States shall not be altered until the relevant figures for the first census taken after year 2026 have been published.

09 seats in the Legislative Assembly are allocated for Scheduled Castes, while 1 seat is allocated for Scheduled Castes in House of People.19 Assembly constituencies and two Parliament Constituencies have been reserved for Scheduled Tribes. Reservation of constituencies for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has been done on the basis of the provisions laid down in Article 330 and 332 of the Constitution of India.

Some salient features:

  • Lowest administrative unit has been taken as ‘Village’ in rural areas and ‘Ward’ in urban areas. Accordingly, village and ward have been kept intact and have not been broken anywhere in the State. The proposal has been prepared based on administrative units of development i.e., Development block, Panchayats (VCDC in BTAD) and village in rural areas and Municipal Boards, wards in urban areas.

  • SC assembly seats have increased from 8 to 9; ST assembly seats have increased from 16 to 19

  • Increase of 01 assembly seat in Autonomous districts in West Karbi Anglong District

  • Increase of Assembly Constituencies (ACs) in Bodoland districts from 11 to 15

  • Retaining Diphu and Kokrajhar Parliamentary seats reserved for ST

  • Continuing Lakhimpur Parliamentary seat as unreserved;

  • 01 unreserved AC in Dhemaji district

  • 01 Parliamentary seat namely ‘Diphu’ reserved for ST which comprises 06 ACs of 03 Autonomous districts

  • 02 Parliamentary seats given to the Barak Valley districts i.e., Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts.

  • 01 Parliamentary seat named as ‘Kaziranga’, while 01 Assembly Constituency named as ‘Manas’.

Renaming of certain ACs and PCs

After considering representations, the Commission in the final order has revised the existing nomenclature of 19 ACs and 01 PC as given in table below. One Parliamentary and some Assembly Constituencies gets paired names such as, Darrang-Udalgiri, Hajo- Sualkuchi, Boko-Chaygaon, Nagaon- Batadraba, Bhowanipur- Sorbhog, Algapur- Katlichera, in view of the demand from members of the public.

Table 1

ASSEMBLY CONSTITUENCIES

S. No.

Existing name of Assembly Constituency

Revised name of Assembly Constituency

9

Mankachar

BirsingJarua

11

South Salmara

Mankachar

17

Manikpur

Srijangram

21

Bhowanipur

Bhowanipur – Sorbhog

25

Rupshi

Pakabetbari

28

Boko (ST)

Boko-Chaygaon (ST)

30

Hajo (SC)

Hajo-Sualkuchi (SC)

41

Gobardhana

Manas

55

Batadraba

Dhing

60

Nagaon

Nagaon – Batadraba

69

Sootea

Nadaur

87

Chabua

Chabua - Lahowal

89

Moran

Khowang

113

Dima Hasao (ST)

Haflong (ST)

122

Algapur

Algapur – Katlicherra

123

Badarpur

Karimganj North

124

North Karimganj

Karimganj South

125

South Karimganj

Patharkandi

126

Ratabari(SC)

Ram Krishna Nagar (SC)

PARLIAMENTARY CONSTITUENCIES

4

Darrang

Darrang - Udalguri

 

Extensive Consultations:

  1. Public Hearings on Draft Delimitation Proposal during July 19-21, 2023

The Commission comprising Chief Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioners Shri Anup Chandra Pandey and Shri Arun Goel held hearings from representatives of political parties, civil society organizations and members of public on the draft Delimitation proposal during the public sittings organized in the city of Guwahati on 19th, 20th and 21st July, 2023, to provide an opportunity to the people, public representatives, political leaders and other stakeholders to express their views. The public hearings were part of the consultative exercise by the Commission during the process of delimitation. All those who filed suggestions and objections in response to the public notice, were specifically heard. During these three days, the Commission heard over 1200 representations from 31 districts and held meetings with over 20 political parties.

Representatives from National Parties namely Aam Aadmi Party, Indian National Congress, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Bhartiya Janata Party; State Parties namely All India United Democratic Front, Asom Gana Parishad, United Peoples Party Liberal and Bodoland People’s Front shared their feedback and suggestions before the Commission. Besides, United Opposition Forum Assam (comprising of Assam Pradesh Congress, Assam Jatiya Parishad, CPM, Raijor Dal, CPI, Jatiya Dal Assam, NCP, RJD, Janata Dal (U), TMC, CPI(ML) & Others) and the Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPPs) namely, Raijor Dal, Bhartiya Gana Parishad, National Republican Congress and Assam Jatiya Parishad also participated.

In total, more than 6000 persons participated in the public hearings. During the public sittings held in three days, the Commission patiently heard all the representations from different sections of society, organizations and political parties and assured due consideration of all the representations within the constitutional and statutory provisions. The total 1222 representations were received w.r.t. Commission’s draft proposal, in public sittings or otherwise. All the suggestions in response to the public notice, given in writing or orally during the public sittings and representations received from various stakeholders were tabulated in the Commission and the Commission conducted a final round of internal meetings to examine all the suggestions and took decision on the changes to be made in the draft proposal. All such changes have been incorporated while preparing the Final Order, before its publication in the Official Gazette of the Government of India as well as of the State of Assam.

Background
The Election Commission of India is entrusted with the responsibility of delimiting the Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies in the State of Assam under Section 8-A of the Representation of the People Act, 1950.

Delimitation of the Assembly and Parliamentary seats in the State of Assam was last carried out in 1976 based on 1971 census. Procedure for the delimitation process has been followed as laid down in the relevant laws viz. Section 8 A of the R. P. Act, 1950 read with Section 9 (1) (c) and (d) of the Delimitation Act, 2002 (33 of 2002), Article 82, 170, 330 and 332 of the Constitution of India.

The Election Commission decided that constituencies shall be delimited having regard to the administrative units, i.e., District/ Development Block/Panchayat or VCDC (Village Council Development Committee)/ village/ ward etc., as in existence as on 1st January, 2023. Accordingly, The Commission vide its letter no. 282/AS/2022(DEL) dated 27thDecember, 2022 wrote to the Chief Electoral Officer, Assam to take up the matter with the State Government not to disturb the administrative units, as exists on 1st January, 2023 till the completion of the delimitation exercise in the State.

Pre-meeting before drafting the delimitation proposal:

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.

(Read here at this link: Press Release issued in June 2023 on the draft proposal for delimitation: https://eci.gov.in/files/file/15050-eci-publishes-draft-delimitation-proposal-for-assam-suggestions-objections-invited-till-july-11-2023/ )

Guidelines & Methodology:

  • The commission devised the Guidelines and Methodology keeping in mind the constitutional and legal provisions and the suggestions received in the representations.

  • For the purpose of delimitation of constituencies in the State, Statistical Data and maps were sought from the Chief Electoral Officer of the State of Assam, who in turn took the data from all the districts w.r.t. 2001 census and maps with administrative units, i.e., District/ Development Block/Panchayat or VCDC (Village Council Development Committee)/ village/ ward etc., as in existence as on 1st January, 2023. For the sake of accuracy, the data was got reverified from all the Districts through Chief Electoral Officer.

  • Efforts have been made to keep all constituencies, as far as practicable, as geographically compact areas, and in delimiting them, regard has been had to the physical features, density of population, existing boundaries of administrative units, facilities of communication and public convenience. Due to huge inter-district variation in certain cases in factors such as geographical features, density of population, means of communication, public convenience, contiguity of the areas and necessity to avoid breaking of administrative units and as constituencies cannot be delimited having exactly equal population in all cases, deviation to certain extent from the State and District average has been allowed. In the State of Assam, since last delimitation (1976), number of districts have increased from 10 to 31 and similarly number of administrative units at Development Block and Gram Panchayat levels have undergone drastic changes.

  • Several representations were also received by the Commission pointing out the uneven population growth pattern in the State of Assam. While some districts have undergone more population growth since last delimitation, some districts have witnessed less population growth. It is seen that the population density in the districts of the State varies from 38 persons per square km in Dima Hasao district to 1096 persons per square km in Kamrup (Metropolitan) district.

  • Taking all these factors into account, the Commission has categorized all 31 districts in three broad categories A, B and C giving margin of (+/-) 10% of average population per Assembly Constituency (AC), while proposing allocation of the constituencies to the districts.

  • The average population density of the state is 338 persons per sq.km. A population density range of 304 (subtracting 10% from the average population density) to 372 (adding 10% to the average population density) has been established and on this basis, the above said three categories have been made as given below:

  1. Districts having population density less than 304 persons per sq. km.

  2. Districts having population density between 304 to 372 persons per sq. km.

  3. Districts having population density more than 372 persons per sq. km.

 

  • 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 (13-7) 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

The detailed delimitation report will also be shortly available on the ECI website which contains all the legal and constitutional provisions, delimitation statistics, guidelines, and methodology, working paper, notified delimitation order, maps of PCs of the state, district wise maps of ACs, press notes and list of representations received on the draft proposal from political parties, organizations, and members of the public.

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RP



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