Guwahati, March 20 (IANS) Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday said that his administration has no knowledge of the completion date for the process of delimitation of constituencies in the state.
Speaking in the state Assembly, he suggested that the opposition might ask the Election Commission any questions they may have regarding the procedure when its entire team visits the state the following week.
“Since we are not directly or indirectly involved in the process, the state administration cannot say when it will be finished. The Election Commission is the nodal agency for this exercise,” he said.
The delimitation procedure started in Assam on January 1 this year.
When Congress MLA Rekibuddin Ahmed questioned him about the delimitation procedure, Sarma responded: “Our function is simply to supply the data to EC.”
The delimitation exercise was halted in Assam for the last several years but Sarma claimed that the updating of the National Registry of Citizens (NRC) had not caused the delimitation to freeze in the state.
“The delimitation panel received a letter from the then-Congress government stating that the current state of law and order did not make it possible to complete the procedure,” he said.
“When asked if it can be done now, we answered that the situation has improved.”
Sarma urged the legislators to keep advocating for all localities in their district equally without making assumptions about which ones will be dropped once the delimitation process is finished.
“The entire EC bench will hold consultations with political parties and other stakeholders. They are coming here. I ask everyone to bring forward any concerns they may have so they can be clarified,” he stated.
Congress MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha asked Sarma why there was such a “hurry” to merge four districts in the state soon after the EC’s delimitation notification.
Sarma said that the notification was released by the EC on December 27 and came into force on January 1.
“This period was granted so that the state government might make adjustments in the district boundaries for addressing administrative necessities.”