Ahluwalia questions Ambedkar formula on representation

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New Delhi, Mar 18 (UNI) BJP member S S Ahluwalia today questioned the whole formula of the representation in Parliament and state assemblies brought in by Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar in April 1950 as the then Law Minister.

Initiating discussions in the Rajya Sabha on the Delimitation (Amendment) Bill, 2008 and the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, Mr Ahuluwalia said the allocation of seats to states, total seats of state legislative assemblies, registration of voters and composition of state legislative councils as envisaged in the 1950 Act were based on faulty grounds.

He said Dr Ambedkar's formula entailed one MP for 7.5 lakh people when the country's population stood at 30 crore in 1950.

''Since 1950 India's population has been spiralling phenomenally and has now crossed the one billion mark...In view of the fast-changing demographic profile of the country, it would make little sense to freeze the delimitation exercise till 2026,'' he argued.

Observing that population alone should be the valid criterion for a delimitation exercise, Mr Ahluwalia said the Ambedkar formula was modified in the delimitation exercises carried out in 1951, 1961 and 1971.

After the new delimitation, an MP would be representing a population of 19.30 lakh, he said. However in western democracies, the representation in legislatures was much more balanced, he added.

For example, in the US House of Representatives, an elected member represents 6.59 lakh people while in the British House of Commons, the number is 92,000 and in Australia 1.34 lakh.

Mr Ahluwalia regretted that the new Delimitation Commission had ignored the parameter of population. He also wanted to know the rationale behind a 1976 constitutional amendment that freezed the number of seats in Parliament till 2026.

Making a strong case for increasing the number of seats in Parliament and state legislatures, he advanced the plea that if there was not sufficient seating space in these bodies, new buildings should be constructed.


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