Election law amendment - Fusion - WeRIndia

Election law amendment introduced in Lok Sabha

Election law amendment introduced in Lok Sabha

A new bill to amend two electoral laws has been introduced yesterday at Lok Sabha. The bill would allow a limited delimitation exercise in West Bengal for granting voting rights to people who became Indian citizens following the exchange of enclaves with Bangladesh.

D V Sadananda Gowda, the Law Minister introduced the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The bill aims to amend Section 11 of the Delimitation Act, 2002 and Section 9 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950.

The passage of bill as early as possible seems to be important since the term of the 294-member West Bengal Assembly is set to end on May 29 and elections are likely to be held before that. The government is hopeful that the bill will pass in the next two days by both the Houses. The poll body made it clear that it is important to give voting rights to these people with assembly polls fast approaching.

If the delimitation happens, these people will be made voters of assembly and parliamentary constituencies. The bill will let Election Commission carry out a limited delimitation of assembly and parliamentary constituencies in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal after the exchange of 51 Bangladeshi and 111 Indian enclaves in July last year.

Beside the 14,000 people of the 51 enclaves that became part of India, there were about 921 people from Bangladesh who have become Indian citizens.

Earlier, the Law Ministry was planning to bring an ordinance to amend the two laws. However, the idea was decline at a meeting of inter-ministerial group. Ordinances are avoided when session dates are announced as per the conventions. The last delimitation exercise in West Bengal happened in 2008. The laws should be amended to have a new and limited delimitation exercise.

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