New Delhi: Tamil Nadu minister Udhayanidhi Stalin Thursday expressed his concerns about the 2026 delimitation, referring to it as a “sword hanging on the heads of the South Indian regional parties”. Speaking at ABP Network’s ‘The Southern Rising Summit 2023’, the Minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development said a conspiracy is being hatched to punish the southern states for their good performance, through the impending delimitation exercise of Lok Sabha constituencies.
In the 1970s, he said, the Union government promoted the population control programme, which the South Indian states “implemented effectively”, adding that the states are now being made to pay up for that. “Southern States population growth rate slowed, in comparison to states that did not implement the programme well, whose population continued to grow at a higher rate. This effectively reduced the population share of the South Indian states. Today, this is being used against us.”
He stressed how the Constitution mandates that each state must receive seats in proportion to its population, and constituencies should be roughly equal to the size of the population. “In line with this principle, delimitation commissions were formed in 1952 and 1963. These commissions recommended two things — the total number of seats in the Lok Sabha and the number of Assembly seats that each state will have,” the Tamil Nadu minister said.
He added: “If delimitation metric and revolutionary changes in the state is done without changing the total number of seats in Lok Sabha, Tamil Nadu will lose 8 seats, from the current 39 seats to 31. This is a clear attempt to silence the voice of southern states.”
“We should be mindful of the conspiracy that is being hatched to take away our rights, and act accordingly,” Udhayanidhi said.
“I am hopeful that most political parties that are fighting for the state rights will oppose this move. Every right-thinking citizen will confront this move. And, I can guarantee you that DMK will be at the forefront of this people’s movement,” he said, adding: “Our Chief Minister has called delimitation a sword hanging over our head. We should be mindful of the conspiracy that is being hatched to take away our rights, and act accordingly.”
‘Southern States Paying More Tax’
Udhayanidhi also said that southern states are paying more tax but getting little in return from the Centre. “Since 2014, Tamil Nadu has paid tax to the tune of Rs 5 lakh crores to the Union government, but we have received just Rs 2 lakh crore. While BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh paid Rs 2 lakh crore as tax in these nine years and has received Rs 9 lakh crore,” he said.
“A bigger conspiracy is being done to punish the southern states for the good performance through the impending limitation exercise of the Lok Sabha constituencies,” he added. “We believe that the one-size-fits-all approaches will not work for a vast and diverse country like India. The Union government should frame the broader policy framework and provide sufficient space for the states to design and implement schemes that are suitable to the needs of the people of the state.”
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