Guwahati, Jul 20, 2023, IANS
Guwahati, July 20 (IANS) Despite opposition parties in Assam questioning the consideration of a 2001 census by the Election Commission of India (ECI) for the delimitation exercise of assembly and parliamentary constituencies of the state, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has supported the move.
Leaders of the student body met the ECI bench that is conducting a public hearing over the delimitation process and asserted that considering the 2001 census is beneficial for the Assamese people of the state.
Samujjal Bhattacharya, the chief advisor of AASU, said: “We have supported the ECI’s decision to consider the 2001 census for the delimitation exercise. However, the draft that was out in public domain needs some modification.”
The AASU leaders have submitted their proposals to the bench regarding the draft that was published by the ECI on June 20.
Bhattacharya said that they placed a demand before the ECI to bring back the Amguri and Lahowal Assembly constituencies which were scrapped in the draft.
AASU General Secretary Sonkar Jyoti Baruah said: “Several people have deliberately criticised us, claiming that we have accepted the draft proposal of the state's delimitation process. We would like to make it clear that the full draft proposal was not approved, rather, we merely accepted 2001 as the foundation year for the delimitation procedure.
"The proposal has both advantageous and disadvantageous elements. Since the indigenous population has a stronghold in Lahowal and Amguri, we have demanded their repatriation.”
Meanwhile, AASU president Utpal Sarma said that "we have welcomed 2001 as the base year for the ongoing delimitation".
"However, when the delimitation process will again begin in Assam along with the rest of the country in the year 2026, then it should be based on the 1991 census; otherwise, it would be against the rights of the indigenous people."
Meanwhile, the Congress and other opposition parties have criticised the stand of AASU in supporting the 2001 census as the foundation year for the delimitation exercise.
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