Amid the ongoing construction work on the Central Vista project, Congress leader Manish Tewari has claimed that there is a proposal to increase the strength of Lok Sabha to 1,000 or more and sought public consultation before its implementation.
“I am reliably informed by Parliamentary colleagues in BJP that there is a proposal to increase the strength of Lok Sabha to 1000 or more before 2024. New Parliament Chamber being constructed as a 1000 seater. Before this is done there should be a serious public consultation," Tewari tweeted on Sunday.
He added: “Job of an MP is to make laws for the country. The role was emasculated by 10th schedule of the Indian Constitution. To take care of development imperatives we have 73rd 74th Constitutional Amendment topped by legislative assemblies. If the proposal to increase LS to 1000 is true, it will have implications."
“Do not yet know correct or otherwise, proposal/idea includes 1/3 rd Reservation for women. Good move but why 1/3rd out of 1000 or more why not 543 that CP Smt Sonia Gandhi has been fighting for over two decades. Women are 50 percent but the parliament of 1000 has own implications," he said.
Tewari’s colleague, senior Congress leader Karti Chidambaram, too weighed in on the issue, saying “if the increase is based on population it will further diminish the representation of the southern states, that will not be acceptable”.
Public debate is needed. A large country like ours needs more directly elected representatives. But if the increase is based on population it will further diminish the representation of the southern states, that will not be acceptable.— Karti P Chidambaram (@KartiPC) July 25, 2021
The Narendra Modi government is not the first to moot the idea. Former president Pranab Mukherjee in 2019 had said that the number of seats in Lok Sabha should be increased to 1,000 from the present 543, and also called for an increase in the number of MPs in Rajya Sabha and state legislatures.
“In 1977, the population was 55 crore or 550 million whereas today it stands at 1.3 billion. There has been an embargo on increasing the seats in Parliament and state assemblies till 2026. Even by the 2011 census of population, the number of voters has increased per Lok Sabha constituency,” ANI had quoted Mukherjee as saying.
How do you expect the representative to connect with so many of the electorates, he had questioned and suggested that the freeze on the seats should be removed through delimitation.
Before Mukherjee, Jitin Prasada had made a similar statement saying that the number of Lok Sabha seats should be rationalised on the basis of population.
Currently, the strength of the Lok Sabha is 543, of which 530 have been allocated to the states, and the remaining to the Union Territories.