Delimitation based on 2001 census illogical: Ex-head of Statistics Dept
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 11 2020: Conducting delimitation based on 2021 census without affecting the present Manipur Assembly and Parliamentary Constituency structures would be the most ideal way, said former Director of Economics and Statistics, Oinam Biren.

Speaking to The Sangai Express, O Biren said that the present Manipur Assembly and Parliamentary Constituency structures are based on the 1971 census and the Centre is now pushing for a delimitation based on the 2001 census.

It may be noted that the Centre had formed Delimitation Commission to conduct delimitation for two Union Territories and four North-East States including Manipur.

Stating that a fresh delimitation should wait till the 2021 census is conducted, he stressed that the 2001 census had courted many controversies.

Delimitation based on 2001 census illogical: Ex-head of Statistics Dept
Delimitation based on 2001 census illogical: Ex-head of Statistics Dept

The State population based on 1991 census was 18.37 lakhs while 2001 census recorded 22.93 lakhs.

In a span of 10 years, some sub-divisions, particularly Mao-Maram in Senapati district recorded as much as 143 percent increase in population.

Paomata sub-division in the district was divided into two as Paomata and Purul in 2001 .

The subdivisions (Paomata and Purul) recorded an increase of 147 percent while Chandel district's Chakpikarong sub-division recorded 118 percent increase at the end of 2001 census, he said.

An increase of over 100 percent population is "impossible" and accordingly the Registrar General of India (RGI) had deflated the population size of Mao-Maram, Purul and Paomata sub-divisions.

The RGI gave an estimate of 39.16 percent as the percentage of increase in population (1991 census to 2001 census) for the three sub-divisions.

The estimate of the RGI was also debated by various demographers and statisticians as the estimate given was far above the average population growth of the State which was 24.86 percent, he said.

The RGI, however, did not make any changes to the population size of Chakpikarong, he added.

The Delimitation Commission in 2003-2004 was waiting for 2001 census report to conduct fresh delimitation based on the census, when the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee approached the Gauhati High Court to stop the delimitation based on the "controversial" census of 2001 .

The Court had noted that census falls under the Union List and it can't be conducted again.

However, the Court ordered a house-hold demographic survey in the three sub-divisions (Mao-Maram, Paomata and Purul), he said.

Following the order of the Court, the State prepared for household survey in three subdivisions (Mao-Maram, Paomata and Purul) of Senapati district and one sub-division (Chakpikarong) of Chandel district.

Unfortunately, the survey was never conducted, he added.

The former Director of Economics and Statistics further pointed out that the then Delimitation Committee in 2008 had kept the delimitation of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland on hold till 2026 .

"If delimitation is conducted based on 2001 census, the valley would lose three Assembly Constituency seats while hills will gain three seats as per proportionate allocation of seats to population size of each district," he said.

"As per the proposal of the Delimitation Commission, Senapati district which has 6 ST Assembly Constituency seats at present will have a total of 7 seats with an additional seat as; 1-Paomata, 2-Purul, 3-Mao-Maram, 4-Kangpokpi, 5-Saitu Gamphazol, 6-Keithelmanbi and 7-Saikul East.

The Delimitation Commission is also proposing an additional seat for Ukhrul.

The district with 3 seats at present will have 4 seats; 8-Chingai, 9-Sanakeithel, 10-Ukhrul and 11-Phungyar.As per the proposal, 11 seats (including one seat for Jiribam) of Imphal East district will be reduced to 9 seats; 12-Sawombung, 13-Lamlai, 14-Heingang, 15-Khurai North, 16-Khurai South, 17-Wangkhei, 18-Bashikhong, 19-Keirao Bitra and 20-Andro.13 seats of Imphal West district will be reduced to 12 seats; 21-Sekmai Bazar (SC), 22-Lamshang, 23-Konthoujam, 24-Patsoi, 25-Imphal West Urban-I, 26-Imphal West Urban-II, 27-Imphal West Urban-III, 28-Imphal West Urban-IV, 29-Naoriya, 30-Wangoi North, 31-Wangoi and 32-Mayang Imphal.

Three ST seats of Tamenglong district will remain unchanged- 33-Tamenglong, 34-Nungba and 35-Tamei.Jiribam district will have one seat as 36-Jiribam.Churachandpur district will still have 6 seats but with few changes in the name of the Constituency; 37-Parbung, 38-Singhat, 38-Henglep, 40-Churachandpur (North), 41-Churachandpur (West) and 42-Churachandpur East.

Bishnupur district will have 5 seats in 43-Nambol, 44-Bishnupur, 45-Ningthoukhong, 46-Moirang and 47-Kumbi.Thoubal district will still have 10 seats; 48-Lilong, 49-Irong, 50-Thoubal, 51-Yairipok, 52-Heirok, 53-Wangjing, 54-Thoubal Rural, 55-Kakching North (SC), 56-Kakching South and 57-Sugnu.Chandel district (2 seats at present) will have three seats; 58-Chakpikarong, 59-Chandel and 60-Moreh," he said adding the number of seats, names and number of ACs are proposals, not final.

The proposal of the Delimitation Committee doesn't reflect the formation of new seven districts-Jiribam, Kakching, Kamjong, Kangpokpi, Noney, Pherzawl and Tengnoupal.

For example, Jiribam, which is now a revenue district, will have only one seat, according to the proposal, he said.

Giving reasons to defer the delimitation and conduct the same based on 2021 census, he said that the gap between the year 2001 and 2020 is enormous and there must have been major changes in the population size of the State.

To reflect the present population structure, the delimitation should be conducted based on 2021 census, he opined.

Conducting the delimitation after 2021 census without changes in the number of seats will be ideal.

It would not attract objections, he opined.

He also appealed all concerned to ensure smooth conduct of the 2021 census, which will be conducted roping in Aadhaar card based on National Population Register (NPR) .

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