Lok Sabha has passed Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to grant voting rights to people who became citizens of India following the exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh.
The bill seeks to amend the Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1950 and the Delimitation Act, 2002. These Acts regulate allocation of seats to the Lok Sabha and state legislatures and delimitation (fixing boundaries) of parliamentary and state assembly constituencies.
- This bill aims to empower the Election Commission of India (ECI) to carry out delimitation in areas that were affected by the enactment of the Constitution (100th Amendment) Act, 2015.
- Under the 2015 Act, enclaves were exchanged between India and Bangladesh. India received 51 enclaves from Bangladesh and transferred 111 enclaves to Bangladesh in July 2015.
- The bill empowers ECI to amend the delimitation order for (i) Include in the relevant constituencies the Bangladeshi enclaves that were transferred to India. (ii) Exclude of relevant constituencies in the Indian enclaves that were transferred to Bangladesh.
The RPA, 1950 and Delimitation Act, 2002 provide the ECI the responsibility to maintain up-to-date delimitation orders. Delimitation orders specify the boundaries of territorial constituencies.