Assam delimitation: ECI prepared draft under BJP’s influence, claims Badruddin Ajmal

GUWAHATI : Badruddin Ajmal, Lok Sabha MP and the chief of All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), on Wednesday criticised the draft proposal published by the Election Commission of India (ECI) for the delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in Assam.

According to Ajmal, the ECI prepared the draft under the influence of the BJP.

Ajmal told reporters here, “We saw that Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Union Home Minister Amit Shah had a very long meeting a few days ago. They sent the proposal and the ECI prepared the draft accordingly.”

He also claimed that the BJP leaders first approved the draft for delimitation after which the ECI published it.

The AIUDF chief also alleged that Congress has a ‘secret’ tie-up with Himanta Biswa Sarma in Assam.

“The Chief Minister showed the draft to the Congress which agreed to it. The Congress often calls us as a B team of BJP but in reality, Congress is the A plus team of the BJP in the state,” he said.

In the draft proposal published on Tuesday, the ECI said, “All Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in the state are to be delimited on the basis of the 2001 Census as provided under 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 Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies has been retained at 126 and 14, respectively.

In the draft proposal, 19 seats in the Assembly have been allocated to Scheduled Tribes (STs), a rise of of three seats, while two seats are allotted to STs out of the 14 Parliamentary seats.

Similarly, nine seats in the Legislative Assembly are allocated to Scheduled Castes (SCs), a rise of one seat, while one seat is allotted to SCs in the Lok Sabha.

Ajmal also said that Congress will gain at least 10-12 seats in the next Assembly elections due to the delimitation, whereas many AIUDF leaders are set to lose the next polls.

“The BJP and Congress have planned to finish AIUDF in Assam,” he added.

Meanwhile, the AIUDF chief will visit Patna on Thursday to meet Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad for opposition unity talks. He will fly to Delhi from there to submit a representation before the Election Commission on the delimitation issue.

“We will oppose the draft proposal of delimitation,” he told the press.

Earlier, AIUDF MLA Karim Uddin Barbhuiya had alleged that the ECI is like a ‘caged parrot’ under BJP’s rule.

He wrote on Twitter, “The draft delimitation for Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in Assam published by ECI is clearly agenda-driven and not based on any population or geographical factors, but purely on communal basis – the agenda driven by the RSS and BJP.

“This draft, if finalised, will be a black spot on democracy. Delimitation should make the legislative process easier and not complicate it. The draft will create a lot of legislative hurdles in the coming times, leave aside taking away the democratic rights of the minorities.” — IANS

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