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'Delimitation exercise in Assam should be postponed for 3 years'

The Assam unit of Trinamool Congress on Monday urged the Election Commission (EC) to postpone the delimitation exercise of the Parliamentary and Assembly constituencies in the state for three years.

An EC team is on a visit to Assam since March 26 to take a stock of the ground situation and hold discussions with the stakeholders before finalising the delimitation. The team met various political parties and organisations to receive suggestions regarding the exercise.

"In 2026, the delimitation will happen across the country. We have raised this issue before the EC and suggested that delimitation can be done in Assam at that time too, since a very short time of three years is left from now," Assam unit Trinamool Congress president Ripun Bora told IANS.

He also said that the delimitation was due in Assam in 2003.

"If we can wait for 20 years, why not for another three years," he submitted.

Bora, however, said that the Trinamool Congress was never against the delimitation exercise.

In a memorandum to the Election Commission, the Trinamool Congress said: "The delimitation exercise in Assam which was started in the year 2003-2004 was postponed in 2008 on the consensus arrived among the political parties that the delimitation exercise in Assam shall be taken only after completion of updating of the NRC."

"Though the final updated NRC for Assam was published on 31 August 2019, the issue is still unresolved and the fate of 19 lakh people who were left out of NRC is still uncertain. In this backdrop -- without finalising the entire process of NRC, without identifying the foreigners, the purpose of postponement of the delimitation exercise in Assam in 2008 will serve no purpose," the letter written by the Trinamool Congress to the EC mentioned.

Bora also questioned the 2001 census as the basis of the delimitation exercise.

"It is not understood why the latest population census report is not taken into consideration. If this delimitation exercise is taken out on the basis of the 2011 population census report, it would have been more effective, because the present population data of the Legislative Assembly constituencies will help in properly adjusting the constituencies," he said.

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