Govt scared of conducting GMC, Panchayat polls before LS elections
GUWAHATI: The Panchayat and Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) elections are due and the contestants were expecting that the polls will be conducted after the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft list is published.
The NRC final draft list was published on 31st July 2018 and the tenure of the GMC council also ended on the same day, but the state government till date has failed to take any initiative for conducting GMC and Panchayat polls and it seems that the government will conduct the elections after 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
A highly-placed source in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) talking to G Plus said, “The BJP led Assam government is scared to conduct the Panchayat and GMC elections before 2019 Lok Sabha elections.”
The source revealed that two months back in a high-level party meeting which was held in Public Works Department (PWD) conference hall, it was decided that the Panchayat and GMC polls will be postponed. He said that the party is scared that if there is any anti-incumbency, the polls might have a negative effect which would further give a wrong message to the voters for 2019 LS polls.
According to him issues like Citizenship (amendment) bill, failed demonetisation move, unplanned Goods and Services Tax (GST) and most importantly the hike in the fuel price has irked the voters which will affect the poll results.
He further said that the party is working on the strategy to woo the voters before the 2019 LS polls.
According to him the GMC polls are not only important for Guwahati but also for the entire northeast and if the BJP loses in such an important local body polls, the LS polls will be hugely affected in northeast.
It needs to be mentioned that a local news portal had reported that a bench of the Gauhati High Court headed by A.K Goswami had issued an order of conducting Panchayat elections on or before 15th of September 2018 by the Assam Government and the State Election Commission.
The High Court in May had denied the plea of extending the tenure of Panchayats in Assam.
The High Court has also asked the State Government to constitute committees to administer gaon panchayats, anchalik parishads and zila parishads till the election is held and new elected bodies are constituted.
Regarding this, the source revealed that the term is not extended but till now no budget has been sanctioned for Panchayat elections and GMC elections.
The source also said that the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has already declared that they would go solo in the Panchayat polls; therefore it is another threat to the BJP as AGP’s stand on Citizenship (amendmend) Bill was appreciated from
Congress councillors in Guwahati getting offers from BJP
The Congress councillors who won in 2013 and were sitting councillors till 31st July 2018, when the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) term ended are getting offers from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
A Congress councillor talking to G Plus on condition of anonymity said, “The BJP has given me an offer to join their party and start working for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.” He revealed that the saffron party leaders have promised him the councillor ticket if he works for the party in the ward he won in 2013.
He also revealed that like him many other Congress councillors are getting offers from BJP but they have decided that they will not join the saffron party as, the Modi (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) wave is not strong this time.
BJP councillors on their toes for ensuing elections
The Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) council term ended on 31st July 2018 and thereafter the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillors are on their toes for the ensuing elections which are due this year.
A BJP councillor said, “We don’t know who will get the ticket as if there is an alliance between Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and BJP, there is a possibility that some of our seats may be given to them (AGP).”
He also said that in every ward there are many BJP members who are also aspirants of the tickets and they are trying their best to impress the party leadership.
He revealed that the aspirants keep visiting the party office to woo the party leaders, therefore it is unknown who will get the ticket and who won’t.
The councillor also mentioned that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) also have their own candidates and the saffron party takes their opinion before giving the tickets.