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New constituencies in six months

N.J. Nair

List of delimited constituencies sent to President for his assent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: New Lok Sabha and Assembly segments in the State are expected to be carved out within six months. The Union Law Ministry is understood to have forwarded a list of delimited constituencies to the Rashtrapati Bhavan for the assent of President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

With the President endorsing the final report of the Delimitation Commission headed by Kuldip Singh, the new constituencies will come into being in the State based on which the next Lok Sabha elections are likely to be held.

Official sources told The Hindu that the commission had completed all formalities and its report had been tabled in Parliament too. The delimitation exercise was carried out in the State after a gap of 34 years. The boundaries of th e constituencies were redrawn as per the figures of 2001 census.

Political equations

Although there is no change in the number of Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies, the reconfiguration could upset existing political equations in the State. For, many prominent leaders will lose their pocket boroughs and end the monopoly of parties in certain segments.

Since the Left Democratic Front, especially the CPI(M), had meticulously presented the facts and figures before the commission when it held its sittings, it seems to have gained a clear edge in about 60 Assembly segments which have been delimited by the commission.

Manjeri, Ottapalam, Mukundapuram, Muvattupuzha, Adoor and Chirayinkeezh Lok Sabha constituencies will cease to exist, while Malappuram, Chalakkudy, Pathanamthitta, Wayanad and Alathur will emerge as new constituencies. The commission has taken due care to avoid clubbing of reserved constituencies.

For instance, Alathur and Palakkad are two adjoining segments which have the highest representation of Scheduled Caste population. In order to distribute reserved constituencies, Alathur and Mavelikara, which has the second highest SC population, have been made reserved constituencies.

Local bodies were taken as basic units for purposes of fixing the new boundaries of the constituencies without fragmenting districts and grama panchayats. All segments have been made geographically compact units. So, certain areas of Muvattupuzha have been merged with Ernakulam and Idukki.

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