Centre exempts Arunachal from delimitation process

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Itanagar, Jan 6 (UNI) In a significant development, the Centre has decided to exempt Arunachal Pradesh from the delimitation of its Assembly constituencies, considering the demand of the people of the state.

State Parliamentary Affairs Minister and government spokesman Tako Dabi informed from New Delhi here today that the Centre would pass an ordinance within the next three to four days for cancellation of its earlier order for delimitation of the Arunachal Assembly constituencies.

''The Centre's decision to actively consider the state government's demand in the larger interests has come as a new year gift to the people of this Himalayan state,'' Mr Dabi added.

Earlier, the draft proposal for the delimitation of the Assembly seats had evoked protests throughout the state as population was taken as a yardstick for the delimitation process.

A team, headed by Arunachal Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, Speaker Setong Sena, state PWD Minister Nabam Tuki and Mr Dabi, yesterday met the principal secretary to the Prime Minister to discuss the delimitation process.

Mr Dabi further informed that the Chief Minister had earlier written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, stating that the delimitation of Assembly constituencies on the basis of the 2001 census was not justified and could lead to serious law and order problems in the state.

In a memorandum, the state government had also requested Delimitation Commission Chairman Justice (Retd) Kuldip Singh to reconsider the case of Arunachal Pradesh and exempt it from the purview of the delimitation process, Mr Dabi added.

He further informed that Mr Khandu, along with his Cabinet colleagues, would call on Dr Singh in New Delhi to finalise the Prime Minister's visit to the state, scheduled either in the end of January or the early part of February.

The Prime Minister was also likely to announce a special package for infrastructure development in the state during his visit, besides inaugurating the Rajiv Gandi Bhawan here, he informed.

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