Ex BJP councillor claims GDD minister not keen on GMC polls for his own interests
GUWAHATI: Even after 10 months of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) council’s tenure coming to an end, the government has failed to conduct the council elections among the city’s wards. For a city to grow the urban local body requires to be guided by representatives of the citizens and in Guwahati it seems that the state government is not taking the whole issue seriously.
There are allegations against the Guwahati Development Department (GDD) minister that he doesn’t want the GMC council to gain the desired electoral strength.
A former BJP councillor, talking to G Plus under condition of anonymity said, “Siddhartha Bhattacharya wants that all the Councillors and Area Sabha Members should be his own people.” The source revealed that last time the councillors earned huge popularity and prominence in the city with their work and therefore the local members of legislative assembly (MLAs) were feeling insecure.
The source revealed that after the council’s tenure had ended last July, the state government, in a meeting, decided not to conduct the GMC elections ahead of the Lok Sabha polls as there were apprehensions that if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost here, a negative message about the saffron party would have gone to the voters of Assam.
But now, as the BJP has already formed the government in the Centre, the state government and its ministers are not serious about the GMC elections.
The source also said that even the Panchayat elections were delayed and it was later conducted ahead of the Lok Sabha elections because some panchayat members had moved before the court.
On being asked if the former Guwahati councillors are also mulling such a step, the source said, “No BJP councillor will take this step even if he/she wants to because after that his/her political career in BJP will be over.” The BJP member also revealed that some Congress councillors were indeed planning to go to court, but after the Lok Sabha debacle of their party, they are giving it a re-thought.
The GMC elections can only be conducted if the state government releases the funds for the same. For legislative and Lok Sabha elections, the Centre sanctions the funds, but for local body polls the state government organises the funds.
The BJP member expressed that if the government and the ministers don’t see any gains from the councillors elected from the wards, the GMC elections will keep getting postponed.