Thursday, April 18, 2024

Tamil Nadu Assembly passes resolutions against delimitation and ‘one nation, one election’

MK STalin

The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Wednesday passed resolutions against the Union government’s “one nation, one election” proposal and the proposed delimitation process after 2026.

Chief Minister MK Stalin described delimitation as a “sword hanging over the head of Tamil Nadu” and said the proposal should be nipped in the bud.

“Delimitation is a sword hanging over the head of Tamil Nadu,” said Stalin.

He said that in 1971, both Bihar and Tamil Nadu had similar populations and an equal number of representatives in Parliament. But the population of Bihar has now increased to 1.5 times over Tamil Nadu’s. The chief minister pointed out that Tamil Nadu’s representation in Parliament will be less than that of many north Indian states if the Union government goes ahead with the delimitation exercise.

He said: “It scares me to think about it. Even with 39 Lok Sabha MPs, we are bargaining with the Union government and if the seats reduce further, what will happen?”

Delimitation is the process of redrawing boundaries to the Assembly constituencies. Article 82 of the Constitution states that after every census is completed, the allocation of Lok Sabha seats to each state must be adjusted based on population changes. The 1971 census served as the foundation for the seat allocation of the present Lok Sabha. According to the 84th Amendment Act of 2001, the constituency boundaries were frozen until the first census after 2026 or at least after 2031.

The resolution against the “one nation, one election” policy stated that it was against the basis of democracy and impractical.

“Elections to local bodies, state assemblies and Parliament are being held at different times on the basis of people-centric issues in a vast and diverse country like India and it is against the idea of democratic decentralisation,” read the resolution.

Stalin said that holding elections at the same time would necessitate dissolving democratically-elected state Legislative Assemblies before their term is completed, which would go against the Constitution.

“If the Union government loses its majority, will they dissolve all state Assemblies and hold simultaneous elections across India?” Stalin asked.

He went on to ask: “If, there arises a situation in states where the state government falls, will those in power at the Union government come forward to hold elections? Is there anything more comical than this? Not just elections for Lok Sabha and state Assemblies, is it even possible to hold simultaneous elections for local bodies?”

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