Election Laws (amendment) Bill introduced in Lok Sabha

K R Srivats New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on February 24, 2016

To empower EC to carry out limited delimitation exercise in West Bengal 

A Bill to empower the Election Commission to undertake a limited delimitation exercise and grant voting rights to certain Indian citizens in the Cooch Behar district of West Bengal was introduced in Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Union Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda introduced the Election Laws (amendment) Bill 2016.

The introduction of this Bill assumes significance as it comes months before West Bengal goes in for elections in May 2016.

The term of the 294-member West Bengal Assembly ends on May 29.

The Centre is likely to push for the passage of this Bill in the next few days to enable the Election Commission to carry out the limited delimitation exercise. .

Once enacted, the law would pave the way for delimitation exercise to be carried out in those areas that became part of Cooch Behar district following the exchange of enclaves with Bangladesh.

With effect from July 31 last year, 51 Bangladeshi enclaves in Indian territory were exchanged for 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladeshi territory.

The enclaves were exchanged pursuant to the finalisation of the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement in 2015 during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Bangladesh on June 6-7 last year.

Other than the 14,000 people of the 51 enclaves that became part of India, about 921 who came from Bangladesh have also become Indian citizens.

The last delimitation exercise in West Bengal was carried out in the year 2008.

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Published on February 24, 2016
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