A paper released by the Pranab Mukherjee Foundation (PMF) on the eve of the late President’s birth anniversary on Friday suggested that the next delimitation exercise should be a two-step process: first a Delimitation Commission should be set up to redraw boundaries of constituencies on the basis of the 2031 Census and then a State Reorganisation Act be passed to split States into smaller ones.
The paper on the topic of delimitation released on Thursday said the 84th Amendment to the Constitution in 2002 had put a freeze on the delimitation of Lok Sabha and State Assembly constituencies till the first Census after 2026. While the current boundaries were drawn on the basis of the 2001 Census, the number of Lok Sabha seats and State Assembly seats remained frozen on the basis of the 1971 Census.
“The population according to the last census preceding the freeze was 50 crore, which in 50 years has grown to 130 crore. This has caused a massive asymmetry in the political representation in the country,” the paper said.
It added that a Delimitation Commission be set up to draw the boundaries as per the 2031 Census and recommend the reorganisation of States based on population. Then, it said, a State Reorganisation Act should be brought to give effect to the Delimitation Commissions’ recommendations “by splitting States into smaller ones”.
The managing editor and director of the foundation, Omita Paul, wrote that the topic of delimitation was “very close” to the former President, who passed away in August while the paper was being written.