Lashing out at the ruling BJP over the ongoing delimitation exercise by the Election Commission in Assam, Congress MLA Abdur Rashid Mandal on Thursday said it was a ploy to target the Muslims in the state.
Congress MLA said, “This (delimitation) exercise is a clear and flagrant violation of the Constitution and the laws of the land. It is a ploy to target the Muslims in Assam. Why are Muslims being singled out this way? Are they not Indian citizens? Are they not paying taxes to the government? What is it that qualifies one to be an Indian citizen? We demand that the BJP comes up with answers to these questions.”
Alleging that the ruling party in the state was depriving the Muslims of government benefits, the Congress MLA said, “However, the Muslims aren’t bothered in the least as they are hardworking people and can take care of themselves and their families. However, these are basic rights being denied by the BJP. Why are we being deprived of our constitutional rights?”
He claimed that as part of the ongoing delimitation exercise, more Assembly constituencies were being carved out in districts that have a relatively lesser concentration of Muslims.
“The representation in the Assembly is being reduced in districts that are home to a sizeable concentration of Muslims. Districts that the Muslims inhabit in relatively lesser numbers are being allotted more Assembly segments. Barpeta district, which is entitled to 8 Assembly constituencies, is proposed to be allotted 6. Darrang, which deserves 4 constituencies, is being given 3, while Karimganj is being allotted 4 segments instead of 4. Hailakandi is entitled to 3 Assembly constituencies but is being given 2 while Dhubri is getting 5 constituencies instead of 6. Similarly, Morigaon is entitled to 4 seats but is being given 3 while Nagaon is being allocated 10 instead of 11 constituencies,” he added.
The population of each constituency in Barpeta district, on an average, is about 2.73 lakh. Why are non-Muslim districts being allotted more constituencies? The West Karbi Anglong district, with a population of only 2.47 lakh, has been allotted 2 seats. In Golaghat district, the average population in each constituency is only 1.89 lakh. In Lakhimpur, the average population in each segment is 1.77 lakh. Yet they have been allotted more seats. This exercise is aimed merely at fulfilling the vested interests of the BJP and the RSS. We have moved the Supreme Court, challenging this exercise,” the Congress MLA said. (ANI)