Modi’s new parliament could see Hindi belt gain, South lose power at the CentreAbdul Gh Lone 27 May 2023 0 COMMENTS
On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate India’s new parliament building. The new structure features space for a controversial, expanded Lok Sabha based on India’s latest population figures.
For more than half a century now, the number of members of the Lok Sabha has been frozen, given fears that the different growth rates of India’s states would upset the country’s federal balance. However, the new building has been seen as an indicator that the Bharatiya Janata Party will end the freeze if it were to come back to power in the Centre in 2024.
The result would be a significant expansion in political power for the Hindi belt, given its high birth rates and a fall for South India, which has better implemented family planning measures.
Expansion after 2026?
The new Lok Sabha chamber designed to accommodate 888 Lok Sabha members instead of the House’s current capacity of 552.
At present, India has 543 Lok Sabha constituencies.
In 1976, the Constitution was amended to freeze the Lok Sabha’s expansion until 2001. This was done to allow for population control initiatives to take effect. In 2001, the freeze was extended until 2026. This constitutional amendment mandates that the Lok Sabha’s expansion after 2026 must be based on the first Census after 2026, which is supposed to take place…