Delimitation panel calls for rotating SC constituencies

May 23rd, 2008 - 6:19 pm ICT by admin  


New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) The Fourth Delimitation Commission Friday recommended rotation of the Scheduled Castes (SC) constituencies and panchayat-wise conduct of census in the country. “The commission recommends that the government may consider incorporating suitable provisions in the law to provide for rotation in the reservation of SC constituencies,” Justice (retired) Kuldip Singh, chairperson of the commission, told reporters.

Singh said there were some constituencies that have remained reserved for four to five decades despite changes in population. The provision for rotation has already been made in the panchayat and municipal elections.

The commission also recommended that the next general census, to be held in 2011, be conducted panchayat-wise in all states. Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal and Kerala have already been following this system.

“This would ensure common electoral rolls in the country for all three tiers of democracy - panchayat, state assembly and parliament,” Singh said.

The commission also said the delimitation exercise should be undertaken once in a decade.

“If this is done, readjustment of the constituencies, including changes and alterations, will not be too extensive and the value of the electoral vote remains more or less of equal weight,” Singh said.

The Fourth Delimitation Commission was formed in July 2002. Its brief was to redraw the boundaries of the existing Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies on the basis of the 1991 census. Later, the 2001 census was made the basis after an amendment to the Delimitation Act.

Since the number of constituencies has been set for both the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies, the changes were made in the number of constituencies reserved for SC and Scheduled Tribes (ST).

“The purpose of delimitation is also to more or less equalize the votes and so constituencies which had a very big population were downsized and the votes shifted to the adjacent constituencies,” Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswamy, who was present, said.

Karnataka, where polling for the third and final phase got over Thursday, became the first state to go to polls under the newly drawn constituencies as per the recommendations of the commission.

Gopalaswamy, who was present on the occasion, said the Election Commission would be ready by August 31 to conduct Lok Sabha polls according to the newly drawn boundaries.

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