The Assam cabinet today approved the administrative merger of four newly formed districts with existing districts. Biswanath district will be merged with Sonitpur, Hojai will be merged with Nagaon, Tamulpur district will be merged with Baksa, and Bajali district is being merged with Barpeta district.
The police and judicial operations will continue in these districts, and all other district offices that have been created during this period will continue so that no officials or employees face any difficulty, the government said.
“These decisions have been taken because of administrative ascendancy and in the interest of Assam, and the society. We have decided to re-merge four districts. Decisions were taken in the interest of Assam’s future,” Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said in Delhi today.
This has been done in accordance with the Election Commission’s order on delimitation, mandating that Assam government makes no changes in any districts or administrative units from January 1, 2023, as the state will begin its delimitation process.
Chief Minister Sarma has said that this is a temporary measure for the delimitation process.
Delimitation is the process of fixing limits or boundaries of the territorial constituencies in a country or a state with a legislative body.
After the merger, the total number of district will come down from 35 to 31.
Earlier, the Election Commission on December 27 said it had initiated the delimitation of assembly and parliamentary constituencies in Assam and will use the 2001 census figures for the readjustment of seats, at the request of the Union Law Ministry.
Opposition parties have protested the move, accusing the BJP of trying to alter Muslim-majority seats in Assam for their advantage.
Several critics have also questioned the motivation behind using data from the 2001 Census and not the more recent 2011 Census, according to which the population of Muslims in Assam has increased by 3.3 per cent – the highest growth in the country.
BJP has rubbished these allegations, claiming they are aimed at creating confusion.