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Opinion

Parliament: a look at how seating arrangements have evolved over the past 68 years

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The Indian Parliament, which will see 55% additional seating capacity for MPs in its new building, has been no stranger to seat additions and modifications in the past 68 years since the first Lok Sabha.

The Lok Sabha chamber, used as the Legislative Assembly long before independence, had only 145 seats. After 1947, “the chamber was remodeled to accommodate a much larger number of members when the Constituent Assembly assumed the role of the Central Legislature,” according to documents available from the Lok Sabha secretariat.

The first Lok Sabha election in 1952 had 461 seats, but in three years, the seats increased to 499.

“Subsequently, the seats rose to 522, then 530 and” now, currently up to 550 within the same building, “say Parliament documents.

And it was during this period that the House authorities had no choice but to install some seats that are always hidden behind the chamber pillars, places where no deputy likes to sit.

Read also | The new Parliament building will be the temple of Aatmanirbhar Bharat: President of Lok Sabha, Om Birla

The proposed chamber will be better designed and the architectural firm has ensured that no seats for MPs will be obstructed by pillars or other structures.

From time to time, Parliament has passed constitutional amendments to increase the seats in both Houses. Each state’s share of seats is highly dependent on the census, and the current strength of 545 seats was interpreted with reference to the 1971 census.

The current seat allocation delimitation will expire in 2026 and it is widely anticipated that the government will refer to the 2001 census to review the seat allocation of different states, as the first census of the new century is expected to reflect the trend of the population more appropriately. .

The new Parliament building, for the first time, would also allocate individual offices for each MP, a departure from current practice where only ministers have assigned chambers in the Parliament building. Transport Bhawan and Shram Shakti Bhavan would be demolished to build the office complex for MPs.

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