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South will lose MPs for population curbs: KTR

DECCAN CHRONICLE | dc correspondent

Published on: August 26, 2022 | Updated on: August 27, 2022

TRS working president and IT minister K.T.Rama Rao. (Photo: Twitter)

HYDERABAD: TRS working president and IT minister K.T.Rama Rao expressed concern that southern states may lose Parliament seats when the Centre delimits Lok Sabha constituencies in the future because they have effectively implemented population control measures.

Rao shared a tweet from ‘Stats of India’ indicating that the population share of southern states in the national population has decreased from 26.2 per cent in 1951 to 19.8 per cent in 2022.

"All the southern states have been better performers on many counts including population control. From what I am hearing, we may be penalised for the same by way of reducing number of parliament seats in delimitation. If it does happen, it will be a travesty of justice (sic)," Rao tweeted on Friday.

The issue of southern states facing a reduction in financing and also parliamentary for effectively controlling population came into focus after the 15th Finance Commission took the 2011 Census as its base. The 2011 census showed southern states placed better than their northern counterparts on most indices.

The usual practice was to take the 1971 Census as base for recommending funds and tax devolution to states. This adversely affected southern states financially and politically.

It is estimated that if the reallocation of Lok Sabha seats is done today on the basis of 2011 Census, the five southern states — Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana — would 33 out of their existing 129 Lok Sabha seats.

The analysis of data shows that southern states except Tamil Nadu had lost significant revenues due to the Finance Commission recommendations taking the 2011 Census as base.

Andhra Pradesh's share in central funds fell from 1.81 per cent in 14th Finance Commission to 1.69 15th Finance Commission and for Telangana the respective figures were 1.02 per cent and 0.87. The picture was the same in the divisible pool of tax revenues, where AP's share fell from 4.31 to 4.11 per cent and for Telangana from 2.43 to 2.13 per cent.

The population growth was lower in southern states which had adopted stricter family planning measures while the population growth in northern states was higher rasing questions how far it was fair to penalise southern states for performing better.

In another tweet, Rama Rao lashed out at the Karnataka government's decision to cut ex-gratia for martyrs' families. "This is disgraceful decision coming from a party that talks big on Nationalism. Respect & dignity to our seniors who worked in armed forces should not be treated as an economic burden. Hope wisdom prevails & decision will be revoked by Karnataka Govt (sic)," he tweeted.

Rao also took a dig at BJP accusing it of toppling democratically elected governments in states referring to the Jharkhand episode. "As if abusing all institutional tools at its disposal & dislodging democratically elected Governments in 8 states was enough, it appears that the BJP is going all out to repeat the same blunder in Jharkhand & Delhi. Perfect time to impose GST on Horse-Trading Madam Nirmala Ji (sic)," Rao tweeted.