More representation from South in Lok Sabha: Cong leader Jitin Prasada
In what can stir a new North-vs-South debate, Congress leader from Uttar Pradesh Jitin Prasada has said that the Lok Sabha was getting more representation from South India than North India because of the prevailing distribution of seats.
Prasada, a member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), has written a letter to the government, saying that the number of Lok Sabha seats should be increased to give more representation to northern states.
"There is disparity (in terms of seat distribution) towards the North, particularly Uttar Pradesh," Prasada told IANS.
He said in North India, an MP is elected from a constituency which has population of 25 lakh but in many states, a constituency can have a population of 10 lakh.
"So, the average representation (from UP) is low as compared to many states," Prasada said.
He added that even the MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) Fund of Rs 5 crore has to be spent by a Lok Sabha member on constituencies of differing populations.
The current strength of Lok Sabha is 545 members, including 2 nominated members of Anglo-Indian community.
North India has already dominance over South India in terms of seats as only UP and Bihar have 120 seats in the Lok Sabha, making it more than 20 percent of the total strength.
Prasada's argument is that after every Indian Census, the seats of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas were re-distributed, respectively, throughout the country so as to have equal population representation from every seat. The apportionment was done thrice in 1951, 1961 and 1971.
"A study in 2001 revealed that had the number of Lok Sabha seats been revised as per the Census figures of 2001, the total number of seats in the Hindi belt (which includes Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and Delhi) would have gone up to 270 from 239 by 2016.
"The total number of seats for the southern States of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh would have come down from 129 to 108."
The seat proportion may only be changed after 2026 as the Constitution was again amended (84th Amendment) in 2002 to continue the freeze on total number of seats in each state till 2026.
The census is due in 2021 and the next Lok Sabha election will be held in 2024.