[Answered] Explain the process of delimitation and its significance in the Indian electoral system. Discuss the implications of the freeze on delimitation until the first census is conducted after 2026.

Introduction: Define Delimitation.

Body: What is the significance of the delimitation exercise?

Conclusion: Way forward.

Delimitation is the act of redrawing boundaries of Lok Sabha and state Assembly seats to represent changes in population. According to Article 82 of the Constitution, Parliament enacts a Delimitation Act after Census that is held every 10 years The main objective of delimitation is to provide equal representation to equal segments of a population. Delimitation is carried out by an independent Delimitation Commission, appointed by the Government of India under provisions of the Delimitation Commission Act. The Delimitation Commission is appointed by the President of India and works in collaboration with the Election Commission of India. It is composed of the following: a retired Supreme Court judge, the Chief Election Commissioner of India and respective State Election Commissioners. The last delimitation exercise took place in 1976.

What is the significance of delimitation in the Indian electoral system?

  • Population Equality: One of the main objectives of delimitation is to achieve population equality among different constituencies. It thus promotes the principle of “one person, one vote.”
  • Equitable representation: Delimitation aids in giving each group in society fair and equitable representation.
  • Electoral Rolls: Delimitation exercise helps in updating the electoral rolls by including new voters. It helps in maintaining integrity and accuracy of voter list.

What are the implications of freeze on delimitation?

  • Political Representation: The freeze on delimitation until the first census after 2026 meant that there was no change in Lok Sabha seats which took account of change in population or demographic change for that period.
  • Imbalance among states: The southern states, which not only had more success in population management but also had progressed economically to the point that they produced far more per capita money than the northern states, were particularly fearful of losing meaningful political participation.
  • Role of Presiding Officer: The Presiding Officers of the Houses/Legislatures must figure out how to deal with the high number of members vying for the Speaker’s attention in order to raise matters in the House. The Speaker finds it extremely difficult to run the House’s business, even with the current strength of 543 members. The Speaker’s pleas are not often heeded by the members, which makes it challenging to run the House with efficiency. The disrespect for the Speaker’s instructions and decisions is made worse by interruptions of the proceedings. The Speaker’s job will become more challenging and burdensome due to the rapid increase in numbers.
  • Parliament Proceedings: Zero Hour, Question Hour, and the raising matters of urgent public importance will be subjected to severe strain because the 60-odd minutes which are available in the morning before the normal legislative business of the House begins will require our Parliament and Legislatures to sit for a longer duration each day during the session as well as have more number of sittings in a year than at present.


The upcoming delimitation exercise should take into account the concerns of tribal areas, southern states in matter of allocation of seats.

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