Tamil Nadu Assembly Opposes Delimitation and Simultaneous Polls

The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly recently passed resolutions objecting to two major electoral reforms proposed by the central government – delimitation of Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies and holding simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, referred to as ‘One Nation One Election’.

Delimitation of Constituencies

What is Delimitation?

Delimitation refers to the process of redrawing boundaries of Lok Sabha and State Assembly seats to ensure they have approximately equal voter population based on the latest census data.

Why Tamil Nadu is Opposed?

Tamil Nadu has argued that constituencies were last delimitated only in 1976 based on 1971 census and another exercise now would be premature before 2026 census data becomes available. They contend freezing delimitation until 2026 would prevent disrupting the size and nature of well-established constituencies.

Political Motivations Alleged

Critics allege the central government’s delimitation push despite a freeze until 2026 by the previous government is politically motivated. Tamil Nadu also has relatively fair equal voter representation currently negating need for immediate delimitation.

Apprehensions Over Loss of Seats

There are also apprehensions that the state may lose significant number of Lok Sabha and Assembly seats if exercises are based purely on latest population data given slower population growth in state compared to others.

‘One Nation One Election’ Proposal

Simultaneous LS and Assembly Polls

‘One Nation, One Election’ is a proposal under consideration by the Government of India, which aims to synchronise elections for the Lok Sabha and all state assemblies. It proposes to hold these elections simultaneously once in five years.

The objective is to reduce frequent election cycles that necessitate imposition of harsh Model Code of Conduct restricting government welfare schemes and development programs implementation.

Tamil Nadu’s Opposition to Idea

However, Tamil Nadu has opposed simultaneous polls calling it an assault on India’s federal structure with state issues getting overshadowed by national politics agenda. They argue state elections have distinctive local factors and forcing their timing with Lok Sabha goes against spirit of federalism.

As per the state, the idea went against the principle of free and fair elections enshrined in the Constitution; he called the proposed delimitation exercise a ‘conspiracy’ to reduce the representation of southern states in Parliament.

No Legal Bind for States

Moreover, Constitutionally, states have complete autonomy in timing their Assembly election dates and dissolution of State Assemblies. The Centre cannot legally bind states to adhere with ‘One Nation One Election’.


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