Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday said his government has no information on when the process for delimitation of constituencies will be over. Speaking in the assembly, Sarma said any question the opposition may have about the process can be placed before the Election Commission (EC) when its full team visits the state next week. "The state government cannot say when the process will be completed as we are not directly or indirectly involved. EC is a central agency. Our work is only to provide the data," he said in reply to a question on the delimitation process by Congress MLA Rekibuddin Ahmed.
The process began on January 1, the chief minister said. The delimitation exercise was not stalled in the state due to the updation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), he said. "The then Congress government had written to the delimitation commission that the law and order situation was not conducive for carrying out the process then. "When we were asked if it can be done now, we said the situation is improved," he told the assembly. Sarma asked the MLAs to continue working equally for all areas within their constituency without speculating which localities will be eliminated when the delimitation process is complete.
"The full bench of the EC is coming here, and they will hold discussions with political parties and other stakeholders. I request all to place before them any misgivings and get the matters clarified," he said. In a supplementary question, Congress MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha wanted to know the reason for the "hurry" in changing the number of districts in the state, immediately after the EC's delimitation notification. Sarma said the EC issued the notification on December 27, and it came into effect on January 1.
"This period was provided so that the government can make changes in the boundaries for meeting administrative exigencies," he said. With the beginning of delimitation, no changes in administrative boundaries can be made till the process is over, he said. Sarma said that another delimitation exercise may happen later if the base year for the process is changed for the entire country.