Chhattisgarh tribal legislators oppose delimitation


Raipur : Cutting across party lines, a majority of Chhattisgarh’s 32 tribal legislators have planned to begin lobbying in New Delhi against the redrawing of electoral constituencies as per the delimitation commission report.

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The lawmakers, elected from seats reserved for scheduled tribe (ST) candidates, want the delimitation of seats not to be implemented in the state at least for the assembly polls due later this year.

The central government had recently cleared the delimitation commission report and had said the assembly polls due in several states this year, including Chhattisgarh, and parliamentary polls scheduled next year would be held according to redrawn constituencies except in Jharkhand and some northeast states.

Informed sources said a majority of state’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tribal legislators as well as from the main opposition Congress have expressed strong displeasure over slashing the ST seats for the 90-member state assembly to 29 from 34.

Presently, the BJP holds 24 ST seats while the Congress has eight ST legislators with two seats vacant.

With the realignment of parliamentary seats in Chhattisgarh, the number of ST seats has come down to three from four out of 11 seats in the state.

“The tribal community in Chhattisgarh is not happy with the reduction of tribal assembly as well as parliamentary seats. State’s former chief minister and Congress leader Ajit Jogi, who himself is a tribal, will soon meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and convey the feelings of tribal MLAs to him,” a senior BJP legislator told IANS Wednesday.

“Tribal leaders of Congress and the BJP are opposed to slashing of ST assembly and Lok Sabha seats, it’s totally unfair and unjust, we will fight against it in New Delhi and will ensure that at least state’s assembly polls this year should not be held on redrawn constituencies,” said a senior Congress tribal leader from Bastar.