Staff Reporter

TIRUNELVELI: Steps should be taken to increase three to four Assembly segments in each district instead of reducing the number of constituencies in some districts as per recommendations of the Delimitation Commission, if the growth of rural Tamil Nadu was to be expedited, the Puthiya Thamizhagam president, K. Krishnasamy, said.

If the draft delimitation proposal on reducing the number of Assembly constituencies was implemented as such, it would have adverse impact on the already ailing rural pockets, especially "the economically and industrially backward regions of southern districts," owing to the meagre funds available, Dr. Krishnasamy said.

Speaking to reporters here on Saturday, he said that the draft proposal would certainly increase the extent of the constituency in rural areas while this range would shrink considerably in urban regions, particularly in cities, as the proposal had been drafted based on the number of voters.

"When the size of an Assembly segment in rural Tamil Nadu swells substantially, it will have more number of villages badly requiring more funds for development works even as the funds available will be more than enough for an already developed urban Assembly segment. Since it will only widen the gap between people in the society, the Election Commission should fix the minimum number of voters required for a constituency in rural areas as 1.50 lakh, it should be fixed as 4 lakh voters for urban segment," Dr. Krishnasamy said.

He appealed to the political parties to join hands in the bandh planned in the southern districts on May 18 in protest against the delimitation draft proposal on shifting all reserved Parliamentary constituencies to northern districts.

The State Government should take concrete steps to stop "devouring of rural lands" by "land mafias" from other States, he added.