Delimiting Boundaries of the Third Tier of Democracy: A Note

By Bhanu Joshi
Edited by Mohd. Sanjeer Alam and K C Sivaramakrishnan
Oxford University Press

The recognition of one vote, one value by the Constitution makers is one of the fundamental tenets of our democracy. This is manifested in our electoral process which recognises the division of territorial constituencies as a vital component of defining how representative and, to a certain extent, how fair elections will be. 

In this chapter, author argue that delimitation in urban local bodies is fragmented due to multiple institutions involved in the process of "electioneering" giving rise to - firstly, discretion and causing delay in conduct of election and secondly - over and under representation of electorate, particularly SC/ST and Backward classes. 

Using the state laws, author make an inventory of how varied delimitation in urban local bodies is and using the electorate data from cities in India, he goes on to show gross under and over representation of the electorate even after delimitation has been conducted for these local governments.