Fourth delimitation in Manipur: An impact analysis

Prof RK Narendra Singh
Contd from prev issue
 Secondly, several series of final Census report of India 2001 of Manipur state excluded the population of the controversial three sub-divisions viz., Mao-Maram, Paomata and Purul of Senapati district. It is because of the fact that the adjusted figures could not be classified according to the census parameters considered like age, caste, religion, fertility, mortality, etc. Henceforth, the population of Manipur state reflected in Census 2001 is not the true population figure of the state.
Further, while calculating entitlement of seats for the House of the people (Parliament) and the State Legislative Assembly, caste-wise population is one of the essential ingredients. Therefore, the delimitation exercises on the basis of false population figures and on the estimated caste-wise figures might certainly be violating the main objective of the Delimitation Commission of India that it maintains people proportionate political representation in policy making bodies like in the House of the people (Parliament) and in the State Legislative Assembly.
Table-2 deals with existing entitlement of seats for parliament and state assembly of Manipur since 1952. The maximum strength of the members in the Lok Sabha in the India Parliament would be 552 but at present strength are 543 members only. If the Delimitation Commission for the  forthcoming delimitation in Manipur allowed to increase one seat (make 3) then it is likely to give the democratic rights to the voters of eight Assembly segments (seven in Thoubal district and one in Jiribam district) who have been being denied the right to contest the Parliamentary elections. For this, first the Delimitation Act, 2002 needs to be amended which is next to impractical. On the other side of the coin, if the Delimitation Commission has followed strictly the provisions of the Delimitation Act, 2002, there is no chance of increase in Lok Sabha seat as it implies only readjust the division into territorial constituencies for Lok Sabha and State Assembly.
Based on the 4th Delimitation Commission’s Guidelines and Methodology the followings are the probable entitlement seats for Manipur State Assembly.
First, the entire Manipur State is divided into the entitlement seats i.e., 60 for Assembly and 2 for House of the People. Then the number is assigned for Unreserved and Reverse including SC and ST according to their population. Further, allocation of number of constituencies to each district is to be made based on the total population of the district divided by the average population per constituency and it comes 38,232 approximately per assembly constituency.
 Figure within parenthesis indicates existing entitlement of seats.
Caste-wise distribution of probable entitlement assembly seats is calculated based on their population (shown in table-4). Exact figure of ST population of Manipur in 2001 is not available as Census final population total of Manipur classifying in terms of caste excluded population of Mao-Maram, Paomata and Purul. However the population of Sanapati district including and excluding the three sub-divisions are 2,293,896 and 2,166,788 respectively and the discrepancy figure is certainly the population of the three sub-divisions i.e., 127,108.
Again on the assumption that all the population in the three sub-divisions are ST, the caste-wise probable entitlement assembly seats is estimated, shown in table-4.
The UR/ General including all castes other than ST an SC has highest population composition (59.53%), followed by ST (37.85%) and lowest pertains to SC with a percentage of 2.61. The whole population is proportionately distributed into 60 assembly seats in terms of caste. It is observed that  from the 3rd Delimitation  (based on  Census 1971) to the proposed 4th Delimitation (base on  Census 2001), UR might be losing 4 seats, the same adding to ST while SC maintains the same existing entitlement seat that is one seat. The distribution is made in terms of district-wise, three valley seats go to its counterpart hill districts.
It may be mentioned that Imphal West district includes a lone SC seat and alone of UR pertains to Senapati district. Through the forthcoming Delimitation, the entitlement assembly seats for three-valley districts viz., Imphal East,Imphal West, Bishnupur districts may reduce by one seat each from the existing seats.
 For instance, Imphal East may reduce from 11 to 10; Imphal West from 12 to 11; Bishnupur from 6 to 5 and lone Thoubal district manage to maintain status quo as 10 seat. On contrary, one seat is added to Senapati district making 7 from the existing 6 (including 1 UR); one seat each goes to Chandel and Ukhrul enhancing to 3 from 2 and to 4 from 3 respectively.
- Indicates lose; + Indicates gain
(to be continued)

The writer is HOD of Biostatistics, RIMS, Imphal.