Let’s take a look at what delimitation means, who oversees it and how it has been implemented over the years  
Let’s take a look at what delimitation means, who oversees it and how it has been implemented over the years  (Photo: The Quint)
  • 1. What Does It Mean?
  • 2. Who’s Behind It?
  • 3. A Brief History
  • 4. The 'Freeze' Question
  • 5. Some Interesting Figures for Perspective
After J&K Move, Delimitation Is the Buzzword: What’s It All About?

The bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories alongside the effective revocation of Article 370 has set the ball rolling for a delimitation exercise to be carried out in the region. In the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, delimitation would have to be done for 114 constituencies on the basis of the 2011 Census.

Hence, with delimitation being the buzzword in the wake of the J&K move, let’s take a look at what it means, who oversees it, how it has been implemented over the years, as well as the issue of the ‘freeze’ which has been in place since 1976.

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  • 1. What Does It Mean?

    Summing up delimitation in a nutshell, the Election Commission of India website says that it is the "act or process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country or a province (state or UT) having a legislative body." The process may also entail a change in the number of Lok Sabha seats allotted to different states, as well as in the number of Legislative Assembly seats for each state.

    Now, one of the important principles that the Constitution had called to be kept in mind for the delimitation exercise was the maintenance of a uniform population-seat ratio, meaning that number of people elected leaders are representing should be uniform within and between states across the country "so far as practicable".

    “… there shall be allotted to each state a number of seats in the House of the People in such manner that the ratio between the number and the population of the state is, so far as practicable, the same for all states.”
    Constitution, Article 81(2)

    However, maintaining that uniformity has proved to be a challenge, but, more on that later.

    Also Read : Delimitation in J&K: Improving State Governance or an Unfair Move?

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