Chief Election Commissioner Current Affairs - 2020

Delimitation Commission holds meeting

On May 28, 2020, the Delimitation Commission held a meeting to review the progress of directions that were provided during its meet in April, 2020.

Highlights

The details of State Election Commissioner were received from the states of Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Assam. The Census data has also been received from the Registrar General.

What is Delimitation?

Delimitation is the act of redrawing the boundaries of state assembly and Lok Sabha seats with respect to the changes in population. The main objective of delimitation is to provide equal representatives in the legislative assembly and parliament to equal segments of population.

The Delimitation is conducted by the Delimitation Commission.

Delimitation Commission

The Delimitation Act is brought about by the Parliament after every census under Article 82. The commission is made of Supreme Court Judge, Chief Election Commissioner and also state election commissioners of respective states.

The Delimitation exercise has been done four times. They were implemented in 1952, 1963, 1973 and 2002. The Last delimitation exercise was begun in 2002 and ended in 2008 based on 2001 census.

Why no delimitation in recent past?

The number of Lok Sabha seats allotted to a state is based on the ratio between that number and population of the state. However, under this provision, the states that took less interest in population control ended up having greater representations.

In 1976, during emergency period, the delimitation was suspended till 2001. This was later extended to 2026. Thus, recently no delimitation was carried in recent past.

Former Chief Election Commissioner TN Seshan passed away

Tirunellai Narayana Iyer Seshan, the man behind several electoral reforms passed away due to a cardiac arrest. He was 87 years old and was not well for the past couple of years. He was the 10th Chief Election Commissioner (CEC). He served between 1990 and 1996

About TN Seshan

TN Seshan was a 1955 batch retired IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre. He was born in Palakkad district of Kerala. Before becoming a CEC, he served around 18 cabinet secretaries. He has also won the Ramon Magsaysay Award for his services in 1986. The award is considered as Asia’s Nobel Prize.

In 1997, he unsuccessfully contested the Presidential Elections against KR Narayanan.

Electoral Reforms by Seshan

  • Mr Seshan is credited for introducing Election Commission’s constitutional powers that keep the politicians under check
  • During his tenure the two additional Election Commissioners were appointed by the centre.
  • It was during his period as the CEC the following were made offensive
    • Bribing voters
    • Distributing alcohol during elections
    • Approaching voters to appeal on caste or community basis
    • Using official machinery for campaigning
    • Using worship places for campaigning
    • Use of loud speakers and high-volume music
  • The following laws were implemented during his period
    • Implementation of strict Code of Conduct
    • A limit was imposed on the election expenditure of the candidate
    • Issuance of voter IDs