ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Alistair McMillanSubscribe to Alistair McMillan

Constitution 91st Amendment Bill: A Constitutional Fraud?

The Constitution 91st Amendment Bill seeks to cancel the redistribution of parliamentary constituencies due after the 2001, 2011 and 2021 censuses. In doing so it undermines what should be an essential and prized characteristic of the Lok Sabha, that each voter has an equal voice in the national parliament. When considering the bill, parliament should therefore consider whether a short-term expedient to prevent delimitation should be allowed to undermine the democratic core of the Constitution.

Delimitation, Democracy, and End of Constitutional Freeze

A thorough delimitation would have a significant impact on the balance of power in the Lok Sabha, shifting the weight of representation from the south to the north. There are two arguments for resisting this change: That it discriminates against states that have successfully carried out family planning programmes, and that it disrupts the federal balance of the country. The first argument is spurious, elevating one aspect of state policy above basic democratic principles. The second argument fits somewhat uneasily with the conception of the Lok Sabha as a 'house of the people'.
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