Constituency Boundaries in the union: A Much-Needed Electoral Reform: Ashwin Singh & Shelal Lodhi Rajput

Constituency Boundaries in the union: A Much-Needed Electoral Reform.

Author: Ashwin Singh

Co-Author: Shelal Lodhi Rajput

SLS Pune

ISSN: 2581-8465

Abstract

Modern India earned its complete independence from the Britishers in 1950 when it declared itself a republic and promised every citizen of the country a right to vote and equal representation in central and state legislative bodies along with the numerous local bodies. However, after 70 years of independence, the republic is facing a problem of constituency delimitations and the problem of making the elected legislatures such as MLA and MPs not being available to work adequately in their constituency, as an MLA and MP represent how many more times(approximately 4 times) the number of people it did during the period of independence and even after that there are problems with the constituency(or voting) boundaries are the delimitation commission has set the boundaries according to 2001 census due to which the problem of the unequal vote for equal citizens as more number of people are voting for an MP in some constituency while fewer number people are polling and giving their vote for an MP in another constituency with the fact is that in the end both of these MPs are going to have same powers and responsibilities.

This paper is trying to analyze why there is a much-need for electoral reform relating to constituency boundaries, what this reform could potentially mean for the union in the long term, this paper will provide some recommendations as to how the new constituency boundaries should be made while keeping in mind the unity along with the numerous differences in between the states.

Statement of Problem

This paper is trying to analysis the main problem as to what will happen when the delimitation commission in 2026 changes the constituency boundaries according to the latest census (at that time) and what will the implications of that change in the unity of the union and how will the roles and responsibilities of the MPs and MLA change. This paper will also try to understand the situation of constituency boundaries in other democratic countries and how these countries have dealt with the same question and solved it.

This paper will look this problem from a nationwide angle including trying to understand this problem from a political, economically and social mirrors.

Literature Review

This paper is based upon several other and previous research conducted by various authorities and persons. Some of the main sources whose research is furthered in this research paper are:

  1. Alistair McMillan’s Population Change and the democratic structure[1]: This paper by Alistair McMillan is the main building block of the present article. Alistair research is furthered in my article by including and expanding the projection for Lok Sabha and other assemblies according to the 2011(census data), Alistair’s paper uses 2001 census data. Various methods from this paper were also taken into my current paper to showcase the new projections.
  2. K.C. Sivaramakrishnan[2]: This particular literature was taken to understand the situation of the north-south division of the republic. This literature is used to shed light in case of what will happen in case the northern states have more power in the Central Legislative body of Lok Sabha.
  3. India’s National Population Policy 2000: a comment[3]: This literature is used to understand the National Population Policy 2000, the probabilities, and the projections of the population increase of India under its subdivision.

Other References:

  1. Fair Representation: Meeting the Ideal of One Man, One Vote.[4]
  2. The “Politicization” of Fertility to Achieve Non-Demographic Objectives.[5]
  3. Delimitation, Democracy, and End of Constitutional Freeze.[6]
  4. Mortality, Fertility, and Gender Bias in India: A District-Level Analysis.[7]

The Research Gap in this field of research are numerous. Some Research Gaps are mentioned below:

  1. No research is there in accordance to the 2011 census data about the constituency and accordingly seats of Lok Sabha (if the constituencies would have been changed)
  2. There is lack of research on why has this issue not been dealt yet
  3. There is a lack of feasible recommendations as to what should be done in the current situation are present.

Research Questions and Research Objectives

This paper while analyzing the question of constituency boundaries within the union with a constant touch upon various other aspects of the working central government along with other governing bodies and the constitution, including the roles and responsibilities of elected persons in the current boundaries and in new boundaries, the north-south divide that might occur after the new constituency boundaries among others. However, this paper will try to take its main focus on some particular questions and objectives as listed below:

Research Questions:

  1. Is there is a real need for change of Constituency Boundaries?
  2. The potential effects of a change of boundaries on the unity of the union [as when the new constituency boundaries will be set by the delimitation commission. (as South India will lose more seats and North India will gain more seats)].
  3. Potential actions and situations of Political groups & parties in India with different voting basis.

Research Objectives:

  1. To provide for an analysis of the potential effects of changing the constituency boundaries of the union.
  2. To understand will the elected representatives will be able to perform and connect with their constituency more adequately after a change in the boundaries or not concerning the current situation.
  3. To Understand why was this major issue has not been solved yet by the legislatures.
  4. The True situation of the Lok Sabha elections of 2014 and 2019 if the constituency boundaries would have changed.
  5. To try and understand the potential issues with directly changing constituency boundaries using 2031 census data after the 2026 when the freeze is lifted.

Introduction

For over Seven Long decades the Republic of India system has been given due credit by the rest of the world with keeping together a country that has an unparalleled ethnic, linguistic, and religious diversity which is continually on the rise with the rise in population and other new problems within the union and from outside sources, this excellent and unparalleled system which has helped India for so long is its Democratic Federalism system. The constitution of this great Republic grants its various states several very significant and important powers over a lot of issues of governance and other challenges including many day-to-day governances.

In 1956, under the guidance and work by the Dhar commission or commonly known as the States reorganization commission headed by the retired judge of Allahabad High Court, SK Dhar, the states were reorganized on linguistic grounds with several small erstwhile princely states getting merged with the larger states under the union. This was a farsighted decision that potentially defused several rising battles in the union based on the linguistic identity.

Federalism is what is gluing this world’s largest democracy together, however, there are several rising challenges in the world’s largest democracy, and the primary culprit and the problem maker here is hardly the interstate relations between the states or between the states or the union, however the disparities between the states themselves. For example, the expanding hole of riches and success between various states of India has exploded in the last decades. During 2017, India’s three most rich states were multiple counts more extravagant than its three least rich states. Populace development is additionally a rising issue, with the number of inhabitants in the northern states continually rising while the southern states are gradually getting more balanced out. Because of falling fertility rates in the south. However, an enormous portion of the focal government distribution of assets to the states (by means of the finance commission) is still starting at now dependent on the 1971 obsolete census. These problems and issues are collective, raising a new question about India’s federal design and are in the way of creating a new wedge in the country’s pre-existing north-south divide problem.[8]

During the last general elections of 2019[9], another new and much more troubling arena of these interstate inequalities is rising underneath the surface of the old problems. The new and till now far the unnoticed problem is the problem of political representation by the people of their elected officials. The overwhelming reluctance of India’s ruling class to redistribute (or increase) seats of the Legislative bodies in the parliament even considering the nation’s changing socioeconomics has prompted extreme and settled in mal appropriation of India’s restricted assets. However as long as India’s government officials don’t act and don’t take extreme choices on the circumstance of electorate limits in the republic, the subnational states of India will keep on getting a long way from one another regarding interstate relations, asset assignment, and above all prosperity.

The Current Crisis

On a rough average, however, an Indian Parliamentarian or MP who positions in the Lok Sabha today is representing their constituencies with more than 1.5 million or 15 lakh eligible voters, or a bit close to 2.5 million or 25 lakh citizens of the country. As of now an Indian member of Parliament (MP) almost represents 4 times the number of voters a Parliamentarian represented in the first election in 1952. The Large size of the population that each parliamentarian in this country is supposed to represent is seriously undermining and doing much damage to the representative democracy in this country as during the election period and afterward, a person cannot be simply expected to meet so many citizens and handle their query with utmost adequacy. This problem can also be understood by the mere fact that even if a parliamentarian would try to meet every citizen of his constituency during the tenure of 5 years then the parliamentarian would have to meet 1370 voters every day during his 5 years to get acquainted with all the people whom they are representing in the Lok Sabha and even after that the same person would be unable to convey the views of all those people on every single topic or issue.[10]

Indian Parliamentarians or MPs represent way more voters than their counterparts do in other democratic republics such as Canada, the US, or Britain that vote in power a single person from each of their own constituency. A British MP represents almost around 72,000 voters in their constituency, whereas a Canadian MP presents about 97,000 eligible voters in their constituency. Even in democratic countries with a high population such as the United States, a elected official of the House of Representatives represents about 5.8 lakh electors, even this is a third of the numbers which an Indian Parliamentarian Represents.[11]

This is why there is a need for an urgent change in the working body of all the Indian Legislations including the State and Union because, under the current circumstances, a Parliamentarian cannot even meet all the eligible voters of their constituency less work for them adequately.

Rolling the problem down the road

Proportional Representation is loved in India’s constitution, which manages the division of seats in the lower house of the parliament, the Lok Sabha (or “House of the People”). Article 81 requires that each state gets seats concerning its general population and assign those seats to casting a ballot socioeconomics of for the most part comparable size. Corresponding Representation isn’t ordered for India’s Centrally directed association domains (UTs)— parliament may pick their assignment of seats—or for states with a general population under 6 million (as of the Thirty-First Amendment in 1973).

The constitution similarly controls without a doubt the quantity of seats in the Lok Sabha. The Seventh Amendment (1956) topped the greatest number of chose seats in the Lok Sabha at 520—500 from India’s states and 20 from its UTs. After changes under the Fourteenth Amendment (1962), the Thirty-First Amendment (1973), and the Goa, Daman, and Diu Reorganization Act (1987), the Lok Sabha now has a most extraordinary approved nature of 552 (530 from the states, 20 from the UTs, and two presidentially assigned people from the Anglo-Indian people group).Starting today, the Lok Sabha has a limit of 545 delegates filling these seats.

To separate these seats relatively, Article 82[12] of the constitution requires the reallocation of seats after each statistic dependent on refreshed populace figures. In any case, the Forty-Second Amendment approved in 1976—during the multi-month Emergency rule by then leader Indira Gandhi—suspended the adjustment of seats in the Lok Sabha to be done until after the 2001 Indian Census. One reason behind the freeze was Gandhi’s hankering to propel family masterminding approaches by making sure that communicates that made sense of how to cut down their fertility rates (and, from this time forward, limit their general population development) would not be rebuked.

In 2002, parliament conceded reallocation altogether, passing the Eighty-Fourth Amendment and making a new freeze until the accompanying census count after 2026 (which will happen in 2031). Regardless, the Eighty-Seventh Amendment (2003) took into account redistricting inside states subject to 2001 census figures, despite the fact that the total number of seats distributed to each state couldn’t be modified. Thusly, states could inside redraw constituent democratic socioeconomics to ensure their by and large proportional size. In any case, there would be no movements to the amounts of seats apportioned to states in the Lok Sabha. By 2031, the general population figures used to administer parliamentary seats to each state will be sixty years of age.

This reluctance to recognize India’s changing socioeconomics has included some significant downfalls. Indian states have developed at radically various rates in recent years, a result of divergent—though gradually uniting—fruitfulness rates (see figure 1). States with moderate populace development, for example, the southern conditions of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, contend that they ought not to be rebuffed for checking populace development more successfully than states with expanding populaces, for example, the northern conditions of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The northern states, thusly, contend that they have been bamboozled; all things considered, the idea of “one individual, one vote” is a focal fundamental of just portrayal which is exactly what is happening in the current situation. Unfit to determine this debate, progressive ages of Indian legislators have picked rather postpone reallocation instead of deal with its touchy ramifications for parliamentary portrayal.

How bad is this problem?

A definitive result of this persevering deferral of this problem continuously by the governing class is resulting in a very serious unequal representation. Malapportionment was at that point by 2001 already a big and a genuine issue, when legislators moved to defer seat correction for a subsequent time. Writing at that point, political researcher Alistair McMillan reported exactly how extraordinary underrepresentation and over-presentation underrepresentation had become. As indicated by the 2001 Census, for example, McMillan determined that Tamil Nadu ought to have had 7 less Lok Sabha seats, while Uttar Pradesh ought to have increased 7 more.

Refreshing McMillan’s computations to join 2011 Census figures uncover much darker differences. Following McMillan, the author of this paper computes each state’s number of seats utilizing the Webster method, a standard equation demonstrated to give an impartial portion of seats. Then, utilizing the 2001 and 2011 Censuses, we venture state populace makes sense of to 2026 and rehash this figurine, showing the seriousness of malapportionment when the stop on reapportionment expires. Table 1 shows the amended seat means each state. Since the territory of Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated (into Andhra Pradesh and Telangana) in 2014, the investigation totals these states.

These strengthened numbers cause sizable developments and advances in political force. Four north Indian states (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh) would all things considered extension 22 seats, while four southern states (Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu) would lose 17 seats. Thinking about our overall public projections, these models will basically fortify over the long haul. In 2026, for example, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh alone remain to extend 21 seats while Kerala and Tamil Nadu would surrender as much as 16.

A covered result of reapportionment is the change in the quantity of seats normally put something aside for Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) up-and-comers. The amount of SC-and ST-held seats is settled on a state-by-state premise: the bit of each state’s seats put something aside for SC and ST contenders must match those a great deal of the overall state people. Reapportionment impacts SC-and ST-held seats in two distinct manners: by reviving the general population parts of SC and ST society in each state (last done in 2008), and by invigorating the total number of seats for each state (which has stayed consistent since 1971).

Changing both of these numbers to compose 2011 Census figures would not for the most part impact the full-scale number of held seats: there would be 1 more ST-saved and 2 more SC-saved seats. Underneath the unassuming change lies an observable neighborhood move: even more moderate making southern states would lose saved seats while even more quickly making northern states would get them. In light of everything, the location and status of 18 seats would change, it would be completely flipped out, from south to north.

Taking this knowledge into context, while playing out the general election of 2014 and 2019, the whole scenario of the country’s political landscape would drastically change. Based on the projections of the fast-growing northern states, parties with bases concentrated in these states would benefit at the cost of their southern counterparts. To simple illustrate, then in the 2014 elections themselves, the BJP majority would increase by roughly 17-18 seats while parties belonging to the south would lose a considerable number of seats also.[13]

Misrepresentation in theory and real-life practice

Delimitation is done based on the former Census. The primary such exercise in 1950-51 was done by the President, with the assistance of the Election Commission. Following the Delimitation Commission Act in 1952, all such activities have been led by Delimitation Commissions — set up in 1952, 1963, 1973 and 2002. There was no delimitation after the 1981 and 1991 Censuses. This was an aftermath of the arrangement that the proportion between the quantity of Lok Sabha seats in a state and the number of inhabitants in the state is, similar to practicable, the equivalent for all states. Albeit unintended, this implied states that looked into populace control could wind up with more seats in Parliament, while the southern states that advanced family arranging could wind up with less seats. In the midst of these worries, the Constitution was altered in 1976 to suspend delimitation until 2001. Presently, the Delimitations are based on the 2001 Consensus and shall continue to do so till 2026. Only after then there will be a change in the constituency boundaries, even that will be just of a few numbers only. Because of this old mandate which was originally aimed to try to get population growth and fertility rate of India under growth, a new problem is arising, those states who have sufficiently and adequately lowered their growth and birth rate are now facing with a backlash of losing power in the Lok Sabha even after developing according to the orders of Delhi only.

On the face of it, these shifts in seats held by each of these states recommend very small distortion or only minor problems, the degree of the issue enormously relies upon the picked unit of examination (that is the constituency). This is due to the fact the quantity of citizens in a voting constituency doesn’t associate with the quantity of enrolled or real electors in that electorate. Northern states will in general have low degrees of citizen enrollment, partially because they have an unbalanced portion of youthful occupants beneath the democratic Eighteen years of age. However, these states likewise have verifiably displayed lower turnout among enrolled electors. The southern states, conversely, will in general have elevated levels of political commitment as far as both elector enlistment and turnout.[14] Thus, expresses that are overrepresented(more people vote for 1 MP) (or underrepresented{less people vote for 1 MP}) because their all-out populace may not be regarding enrolled or genuine citizens.

Consider the ordinary number of inhabitants, enlisted residents (similarly called “balloters”), and authentic voters per individual from parliament (MP) in the state of Uttar Pradesh, the most underrepresented state in the parliament, versus Tamil Nadu, the most overrepresented state in the parliament (see figure 2). While MPs in Uttar Pradesh consider right around 3 million occupants, overall, appeared differently in relation to 1.8 million in Tamil Nadu, the quantity of enrolled residents per casting a ballot segment is tantamount. Incomprehensibly, fairly more voters per casting a ballot segment went to the overviews in Tamil Nadu than in Uttar Pradesh in 2014. According to the census of 2011 around 30% of Tamil Nadu’s population was under 18 years of age, whereas around 43% of Uttar Pradesh’s population was under 18. This finding recommends that while occupants may “checkless” in states with parliamentary underrepresentation, the proportionate isn’t substantial for real residents.

The Problems Associated with the change of Constituency Boundaries

If the constituency boundaries are changed even in 2026, as it was to be done according to the amendment to the constitution of the union, several new challenges will be faced by this republic. Some of the major issues with a possible Constituency boundaries change could be:

  1. Over Crowding of Constituencies: In the Current Situation the Constituencies are overcrowded, an elected Representative is not able to adequately represent the people in their constituency as the population to represent is simply too much and even if the MP tries their best, they cannot possibly understand the problem of every voter of their constituency. Which is a problem seriously undermining the proper working of represented democracy.

Even if the problem of overcrowding is solved, for now, the republic will continue to face the same problem every 5 years (on average). The population of India, referring to the 2011 census is expected to grow by almost 25%, by 2036, which is almost around 1.52 billion. The same. A final peak population of 1.6 Billion people is observed to happen by 2048, only after which the population will start declining.[15][16] So, in conclusion, we will be facing the issue of overcrowded constituency till 2048 and till then the Delimitation commission would have to keep updating the constituency boundaries approximately every 5 years to make sure that the elected representatives would have a limited and workable area to represent.

  • Danger to the Unity of the Union: If and when the new constituency boundaries will be drawn, the northern states will gain more seats at the cost of the southern one, which could have a potential long term effect on the proper functioning of the inter-state relations and might also affect the Lok Sabha actions towards the southern states by the overwhelming majority of the north.
  • Potential Problem of “Gerry Mandering”: Gerry Mandering is a practice done to build up an unjustifiable political support for a specific party or group by controlling specific area limits, which is most regularly utilized in first-past-the-post electoral system.[17]

In the United States, the republic party is accused and convicted by supreme courts of various states such as Florida, Georgia, etc.[18] of this practice. In this practice, the politicians make the constituency boundaries in such a way that the boundaries profits one political party, even if both the parties have got the same percentage of votes.

In India, if the politicians are allowed the same power, then there is a potential that the ruling party, whether state or central, will try to alter the boundaries in such a way that it profits them and not others.

  • The problems that will arise in the Lok Sabha if the size of the Sabha is increased: If the size of the Sabha is increased then on the face of it, it would be a very good change as it to allow the people of constituency gets better representation in the Central legislature however, a number of other problems will arise from this situation:
  • Allocation of resources: As of now allocation of resources is according to the 1971 population census, which he good enough for all the states, however if delimitation is done and thereafter the finance commission also shifts to the latest census, then it would be devastating for the southern states, as the northern states will gain comparatively more resources due to the larger population.
  • Presiding over the house: Currently the house is composed of 545 elected representatives of the people from various parts of the country, however if the delimitations are changed then it would become very difficult for the presiding officer to maintain order in the house. (800+ people in one room)
  • Various hours of the parliament: The zero hour, the question hour and other raising of matters of urgency would become a big issue for the single presiding officer to conduct and the timing of one hour for each of these would not be sufficient enough for a timely and adequate conduct of the work of Lok Sabha.

Recommendations

Excepting another constitution amendment, parliamentary seats won’t be reallocated until after the 2031 Census. Here are some recommendations as to what the parliamentarians and all the other policymakers of this union should do which relates to the representation crisis, in which the country is in.

  1. Pulling off the Band-Aid Technique: The principal procedure is focusing on a reallocation after 2031 and fighting the temptation to kick the can not far off again. This is the “pulling off the Band-Aid” technique: the more extended the cycle delays, the more agony will inevitably be felt. Had India re-allocated seats after each census evaluation, the organization of the Lok Sabha would have changed step by step after some time. Following quite a while of purposeful inactivity, any future reapportionment will instigate sudden changes yet to be determined of political force.
  2. Creation of Two Mini Lok Sabhas’: A possible and workable solution to this problem could be a creation of two separate Lok Sabha, one for the south and the other one for the north and north eastern parts of the country. This would ensure that the elected officials are readily and adequately representing their people and at the same time work is being done by all. This would lead to a good division, and for mattering concerning the whole country specific session should be arranged. So, instead of attending 3 session at the Delhi Lok Sabha, the MPs can attend 1 at Delhi and 2 at their regional Lok Sabha.
  3. Expansion of Lok Sabha: Another game plan, moreover been proposed by McMillan, is to expand the quantity of seats in the Lok Sabha. This has two clear central points of interest. In any case, growing the quantity of MPs would address the continually expanding size of voting public, which hamstrings MPs’ responsiveness to constituents’ needs. At present, Indian elected officials answer to immeasurably greater aggregates of electors than their accomplices in genuinely every other vote-based framework: Indian MPs address a typical of 2.5 million occupants—more than numerous occasions the number addressed by people from the House of Representatives in the United States, which positions second (see figure 3). [19]

Growing the size of the house may likewise be more politically possible than redistributing the ebb and flow number of seats. All things considered; parliamentarians characteristically question any course of action that removes seats from their state (which conceivably puts their self in Lok Sabha in peril) however they might be less opposed to including more seats. McMillan recommends that the Lok Sabha extend sufficiently huge that the most overrepresented state doesn’t lose any seats under reapportionment. Utilizing the Webster technique and 2001 Census figures, he ascertains that the Lok Sabha would need to grow from 545 to 668 individuals for this to happen.

  • Giving more power and authority to Rajya Sabha: A third course of action is changing the structure of the Rajya Sabha. This “Chamber of States” is India’s upper seat of parliament and—as its name suggests—offers a setting for states to advocate their tendencies. Moreover, with the Lok Sabha, upper house seats are assigned to states concerning their general population, with the constitution setting a most extraordinary top of 250 seats. Not under any condition like the direct picked Lok Sabha, state legitimate social affairs select Rajya Sabha MPs. While Rajya Sabha people speculatively advocate for their states, a 2003 change broke the association between a representative and their state by getting rid of an earlier “domicile necessity,” which had told MPs be inhabitants of the state they address. With no residency need, philosophical gatherings can choose basically any likelihood to a void Rajya Sabha seat without regard for the contender’s geographic home.

Fixing the residence issue will simply go as of not long ago, nevertheless. Surely, even before the 2003 legitimate change, Rajya Sabha MPs got around the need by getting a private area (that Manmohan Singh, past Congress Party chief from 2004 to 2014, first joined the Rajya Sabha in 1991 from the region of Assam, to which he had no prior affiliation). An additional change worth considering is completing the winding arrangement of Rajya Sabha people and sorting out a pattern of the direct political race. The United States got this procedure with the Seventeenth Amendment (embraced in 1913), which introduced the quick arrangement of U.S. delegates as opposed to leaving their decision to state committees. An extensively more extraordinary measure would incorporate progressing toward a fixed number of seats for each state (again, like the U.S. Senate, where each state has two officials—paying little heed to people size). Changing the upper house into a veritable setting for conversation of states’ tendencies may loosen up the protection from a reallocation of seats in the lower house.

  • Giving more power to the state legislature: With the huge population and the herculean amount of on the shoulders of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, the policymakers can decide to push more work towards the state legislations and give the state legislature the utmost authority and power within the boundaries of their state. Whilst keeping only the main powers with the central legislation limited to defense, transportation, communication, and power for social reform. This would help reduce the work on individual MPs when they sit in the Lok Sabha arguing for their constituencies as well as this would allow the MPs to focus more on their constituency by giving more time in their constituency instead of spending most of their elected time in Delhi.[20]
  • National Consensus Exercise: A national consensus exercise should be conducted before 2026 by the Government of India in collaboration with various state and other local governments. This could potentially help solving the constituency problems in two ways:
  • This will make sure that the government has the necessary manpower and the knowledge to conduct a consensus with almost 1.5 billion people getting covered and asked about different things.
  • Secondly, when in 2026, The delimitation commission would finally be allowed to set up new constituency boundaries, they can use the data collected in the previous consensus.

Conclusion

Regardless of the course sought after, the discussion on India’s authentic future ought not to be deferred any further. A solid contention can be made that any such discussion ought to be an integral part of a bigger arranged government conservative between the center and the states that would address issues of duties, financial assignments, relocation, and different worries of interstate disparity. To miss this chance would hazard incurring further harm to India’s government plan—a crucial, but blemished, a component of India’s democratic longevity. Except for another constitution amendment done soon, parliamentary seats won’t be reallocated until after the 2031 Census, this could be significant problem for the union. Notwithstanding, this reality ought not to postpone a far-reaching government conversation of the different components of interstate imbalance, including the precarious issue of representation.

The Desire for Equality by the people for representation in the Lok Sabha may hamper the recent progress made with GST etc. but in the end, it is a reasonable and a necessary wish that must be fulfilled. The Constitution of this country in its various articles calls for quality between people, if the equality of representation is not given then it would be a grave and fundamental breach and all the major articles of the constitution. Yes, the desire for equality of constituencies is real and also is the fact that economic development and demographic patterns of the different parts are not equal, but it does not mean that this should not allow the delimitation commission to change the constituency boundaries. Anticipating this discomfort delimitation was freeze in 1971 and will remain freeze till 2026, however, India as a country needs to survive and this can only be done after the proper representation of people is done in the Parliament.

Covid:19 Pandemic has shown the world and specially India the need for good governance and the need of connection between the private citizens and authorities for a people co-existence. Delimitation and a change of boundaries may be seen as a far-fetched need and not a need of today, however, if this problem is not resolved then along with the suffering of the current citizens, future generations will also not be able to make sure that they are governed properly or not. This pattern, in the end, does also show the north-south dimension. It is as if the economic center of the country is shifting to the south whereas the political center is coming up to the north.

This is the one of the oldest and by far an untouched issue in the Union of India, which has the potential to become a huge problem in the upcoming years for the parliamentarians as well as the legislature, therefore it is imminent that a proper plan of action should be taken before this issue is pushed down the road any further.


[1] Thematic Resource (Decentralisation-Governance) Alistair McMillan Population change and the democratic structure, 2001.

[2] K.C. Sivaramakrishnan, (2000), ‘North-South Divide and Delimitation Blues’, Economic and Political Weekly, 26 August: 3093-7.

[3] Gita Sen, (2000), ‘India’s National Population Policy 2000: a comment’, Populi 27(2) [http://www.unfpa.org/modules/populi/issues2000/sept00/viewpoints.htm].

[4] M. Balinski and H.P. Young, (1982), Fair Representation: Meeting the Ideal of One Man, One Vote, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT.

[5] Alaka Malwade Basu, (1997), ‘The “Politicization” of Fertility to Achieve Non-Demographic Objectives’, Population Studies 51(1): 5-18.

[6] Alistair McMillan, (2000), ‘Delimitation, Democracy, and End of Constitutional Freeze’, Economic and Political Weekly, 8 April: 1271-6.

[7] Mamta Murthi, Anne-Catherine Guio and Jean Dreze, (1995), ‘Mortality, Fertility, and Gender Bias in India: A District-Level Analysis’, Population and Development Review 21(4): 745-782.

[8] Opinion: In India, north-south divide grows more dangerous. (2018, April 25). Retrieved from https://www.ndtv.com/opinion/in-india-north-south-divide-grows-more-dangerous-1842495

[9] 2019 Indian general election. (2014, May 17). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Indian_general_election

[10] 2019, Why there’s representation crisis in India’s 543 constituencies. Retrieved From: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sW1eWOPZ3eg

[11] This data shows why Indian MPs don’t truly represent their people. (2019, March 6). Retrieved from https://theprint.in/opinion/this-data-shows-why-indian-mps-dont-truly-represent-their-people/201769/

[12] Retrieved from https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1682669/

[13] By 2026, 33% of lok sabha strength will be from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://thewire.in/gender/by-2026-33-of-lok-sabha-strength-will-be-from-uttar-pradesh-bihar-and-west-bengal

[15] India’s population will be 1.52 billion by 2036, with 70% of increase in urban areas. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://thewire.in/government/india-population-growth-government-report-2036-projections-urban-migration

[16] Demographics of India. (2001, May 4). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_India

[17] Gerrymandering. (2001, December 17). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerrymandering

[18] Chang, A. (2019, October 17). The man who rigged America’s election maps. Retrieved from https://www.vox.com/videos/2019/10/17/20917852/gerrymander-hofeller-election-map

[19] Correspondent, S. (2019, December 16). Increase lok sabha seats to 1,000, says Pranab Mukherjee. Retrieved from https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/increase-lok-sabha-seats-to-1000-says-pranab-mukherjee/article30323446.ece

[20] Part XI of the Constitution of India. (2008, February 20). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Part_XI_of_the_Constitution_of_India

One Reply to “Constituency Boundaries in the union: A Much-Needed Electoral Reform: Ashwin Singh & Shelal Lodhi Rajput”

  1. Dear Team,

    Kindly resolve the grievance I stated yesterday on phone call regarding that name of my co-author is missing from my published paper.
    Authors: Shelal Lodhi Rajput & Ashwin Singh

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