Assam will now have only 31 districts, four districts to be merged with existing ones.
The Assam Cabinet which took place in New Delhi on Saturday undertook major decisions, among which was the announcement on delimitation.
In accordance with the Election Commission's (EC) order on delimitation stating that Assam Govt. won't make any changes in any districts or administrative units from January 1, 2023, as the state will begin its delimitation process, the Assam Cabinet resolved to merge four districts with existing ones making the number of districts in Assam from 35 to 31 with immediate effect. The four districts are Hojai, Bajali, Tamulpur, Biswanath- Hojai will merge with Nagaon, Biswanath with Sonitpur, Tamulpur with Baksa and Bajali with Barpeta.
The cabinet has approved inclusion/exclusion of certain areas/villages of different Revenue Circles, Development Blocks, Gaon Panchayats/Municipal Boards and Villages/Towns from one district to another, involving 14 districts.
While speaking to the media, CM of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma said that he is not really happy with the decision but had to do it for the benefit of the state.
“I am not very comfortable with the decisions taken today, but sometimes we have to take some measures keeping the overall good of the state’s people in mind, due to administrative exigencies and for a better future of Assam,” Sarma told journalists in Delhi.
“This is a transitional phase and we will revive the four districts again once the delimitation exercise is over. In the meantime, the judicial, police and administrative offices in the four districts will keep functioning as usual,” the CM added.
Post the decision, there have been protests in Bajali and Biswanath against the cabinet decision, further stating that the protest will intensify if the decision is not taken back.
According to reports, the opposition parties have denounced the move, charging the BJP with attempting to rig Assam's Muslim-majority seats in their favour.
Student body All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva-Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) also opposed the move.