GUWAHATI, June 9 - Former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said that population should not be taken as the only criterion for conducting the delimitation exercise.
Addressing the media here, Gogoi said that if population is taken as the only criterion for redrawing the boundaries of constituencies, then areas which have registered lower growth of population on account of more focus on sectors like education and health and due to success in family planning, will be politically the losers.
He said that districts of upper Assam where population growth has been less, may well end up losing seats in the Assembly and Parliament, despite achieving more success in family planning.
Gogoi said that such an outcome would mean that educationally and socially better performing areas will be penalised instead of being rewarded.
�Why punish districts which have done better on the education, health and population control fronts?� the senior Congress leader argued.
The former Chief Minister said that population should not, therefore, be the only criterion for delimitation of constituencies.
The Centre had earlier this year ordered the delimitation exercise in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland citing improvement in the internal security situation. Delimitation of Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies was conducted in other states in 2008.
Gogoi demanded that the report of the economic advisory committee, which has suggested measures to revive the State economy and break the stagnation brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, be made public and that the government should immediately act on the recommendations.
He added that the State government should also act on the report submitted by the State Innovation and Transformation Aayog (SITA), that has prepared an assessment and strategy report on the socio-economic impact of COVID-19.
The Congress leader added that if necessary the State government should seek help from the Centre to implement the recommendations made by the economic advisory committee and SITA.
He also demanded that the cases filed against Akhil Gogoi and other leaders of the anti-CAA movement should be immediately withdrawn.
Regarding the State government�s recent announcement to �nearly regularise� around 46,000 contractual teachers by granting them get salaries and other facilities at par with other government teachers from June 1, Gogoi said that such employees should be �regularised� in the real sense of the term.