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December 19, 2023 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 pm


Political equality is a cornerstone of democratic principles, ensuring that every citizen has an equal opportunity to participate in the political process. The fairness of this participation, however, is significantly influenced by the drawing of electoral constituencies.

Factors Diluting Political Equality:

Quantitative Dilution:

  • Constituencies with significantly different populations result in unequal vote values.
  • Example: Uttar Pradesh MP represents about 2.53 million people, while in Tamil Nadu, an MP represents around 1.84 million people.

Qualitative Dilution:

  • Gerrymandering, or strategic redrawing of electoral boundaries, diminishes the effectiveness of votes.
  • Methods include cracking (splitting minority-dominated areas), stacking (merging minorities into outnumbered constituencies), and packing (concentrating minorities in a few areas).

Constitutional Safeguards:

Population Ratio Alignment:

  • Articles 81 and 170 ensure uniform population ratios for Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assembly constituencies.

Parliament’s Role in Delimitation:

  • Article 327 grants Parliament authority to legislate on constituency delimitation, enabling the creation of fair electoral boundaries.

Independent Delimitation Commissions:

  • Commissions, led by retired Supreme Court judges, are formed by the government to redraw boundaries without bias.
  • Four delimitation commissions (1952, 1962, 1972, 2002) have contributed to this process.

Seat Reservation:

  • Articles 330 and 332 reserve seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies, ensuring representation for these groups.

Challenges and Imbalances:

  • Despite constitutional safeguards, gerrymandering persists, leading to underrepresentation of minorities in Parliament.
  • Muslim representation stands at 4.42%, significantly lower than their 14.2% population share.
  • Dilution of votes can result in unequal state representation, diminished minority political influence, and imbalanced constituencies.

Way Forward:

Timely delimitation is crucial, considering population changes and the interests of diverse states.

The next Delimitation Commission should address both quantitative and qualitative vote dilution, fostering more adequate minority representation.

A proactive approach to constituency delineation is vital for preserving the democratic principle of political equality and ensuring that every citizen’s vote holds equal weight in the democratic process.


Delimitation refers to the process of establishing boundaries for territorial constituencies within a nation, adapting to shifts in population. The Delimitation Commission is entrusted with this task, operating independently and free from executive influence.

Constitutional Authority:

According to the Constitution, the decisions of the Delimitation Commission are final and immune from legal challenges. This provision is essential to prevent undue delays in elections. Once laid before the Lok Sabha or State Legislative Assembly, these orders cannot be altered by the respective legislative bodies.

Purpose and Necessity:

·       Equal Representation: Ensure equitable representation for all segments of the population.

·       Preventing Electoral Bias: Fairly divide geographic areas to avoid providing undue advantages to any political party.

·       Upholding “One Vote, One Value” Principle: Maintain the democratic principle of equality, where each vote holds the same value in the electoral process.

Mains Question:

  1. Examine the influence of both quantitative and qualitative dilution of votes on political equality within democracies, elucidating how constitutional safeguards effectively tackle these concerns. (150 WORDS)


December 19, 2023
7:30 am - 11:30 pm
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