The Assam state Congress unit on Monday stayed away from the Election Commission-convened consultation with political parties here in connection with the ongoing delimitation exercise of parliamentary and Assembly constituencies in the state.
The EC, comprising Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, Election Commissioners Anup Chandra Pandey and Arun Goel and other ECI officials, are on a three-day visit to Assam from Sunday to know the “ground reality and expectations of the stakeholders” and the general public over the delimitation, an exercise to redraw the boundaries of a constituency.
There are at present 126 Assembly and 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam. However, the delimitation will not affect the number of seats, since there is a freeze till 2026.
The panel is carrying out the delimitation on the basis of the 2001 Census, when the state’s population was pegged at 26,655,528. The state’s population rose to about 3.12 crore as per the 2011 census and at present the estimated population is around 3.4 crore.
In a tweet on Monday, Assam’s chief electoral officer said more than 55 organisations and 10 national and state-recognised political parties met the EC team in Guwahati on Monday.
However, the Opposition Congress did not attend the consultation held at a hotel here because the ECI did “not” respond to its memorandum opposing the exercise submitted in January till date.
The CEO’s of f ice by evening “again” invited the Congress to join the consultation at a convenient time on Monday or by 1pm Tuesday.
Assam PCC president Bhupen Kumar Borah told TheTelegraph they are “discussing” the content of the second invitation when asked whether they will meet the ECI. Borah said they stayed away because the EC had not responded to their January 4 representation on why the exercise should not be conducted.
He said the PCC had also sent a reminder on February 8 and sought an appointment on March 22.