The Women's Reservation Bill, once implemented, will redraw the electoral map of India. The census and delimitation exercise that will precede the implementation of reservation, is expected to increase the number of Lok Sabha seats from 543 to a whopping 753. The biggest jump, as expected, will be in Uttar Pradesh, which already sends the largest number of MPs to Parliament. The southern states are likely to have a marginal rise, pushing them further back in terms of representation and electoral heft.
In 2026, the estimated population of India will be 1.42 billion and this data will be crucial for delimitation, which redraws the boundaries of a constituency on basis of its population.
Based on those numbers, the Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka are expected to increase from 28 to 36 in 2026 -- a jump of just eight seats. The number of seats in Telangana will rise from 17 to 20, Andhra Pradesh from 25 to 28 and Tamil Nadu from 39 to 41.
The case of Kerala, which has controlled population growth best, will be singular -- the number of its Lok Sabha seats will drop from 20 to 19.
In contrast, the number of seats in Uttar Pradesh will go up from 80 to 128. The other northern states would also see significantly more representation.
Bihar -- another state with a rapidly growing population, will have 70 seats instead of the current 40.
There are currently 29 Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh, which after delimitation are expected to be 47. In Maharashtra, there is an estimate of increase of 20 seats after delimitation -- from 48 to 68.
Rajasthan's number will reach 44 from the current 25.
The huge numerical discrepancy between the northern and southern parts of the country, is expected to draw criticism from the Opposition.
Yesterday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in Lok Sabha that census and delimitation will be undertaken after next year's general election. Sources have said the government will also address the north-south divide in terms of representation.
The number of Lok Sabha seats have not increased since 1977.
So far, Delimitation Commission has been formed four times -- in 1952, 1963, 1973, 2002. Delimitation did not happen after the census of 1981 and 1991. Though it took place after the 2001 census, the number of seats were not increased.
Once quota is implemented, the number of women members in the Lok Sabha will increase from the current 82 to 181. 33 per cent seats will be reserved for women in the state assemblies also.
The Delimitation Commission will be formed by the President and it will work closely with the Election Commission. Retired judges of the Supreme Court will be members. The decision of the commission cannot be challenged.