Eight months after they were merged with other districts in an abrupt announcement by the Assam government, four Assam districts will be now restored but with changed boundaries, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced Friday.
On December 27, 2022, the ECI announced a plan to carry out delimitation of Assam’s parliamentary and assembly constituencies. and its directive banned the creation of any administrative units starting January 1, till the completion of the exercise. On December 31, Sarma announced a decision to merge four districts – Hojai, Bajali, Biswanath and Baksa – with others, as also changes to the boundaries of 14 other districts.
The delimitation process was formally completed last week, with the President approving and thereby bringing to effect the ECI’s final order on August 16. Sarma announced that there will be changes in the districts’ boundaries in line with the redrawing of constituencies by the ECI.
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“Maybe some panchayats of the old district will remain with them, some will be removed,” said Sarma, adding, “Last year on December 31, we had abolshied four districts in Assam and at that time itself I had assured the people of Assam that we would restore these districts at an appropriate time.”
Opposition parties had hit out at the government’s move alleging that these actions were politically motivated, aimed at carrying out a delimitation exercise on communal lines to dilute the impact of minority voters.
Even after the ECI’s final delimitation order, the Opposition parties have objected to the process alleging reduction of seats and lack of geographical and administrative contiguity where Muslim voters will play a decisive role.
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