‘Scared’ BJP led govt to conduct Panchayat polls ‘under pressure’
GUWAHATI: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led Assam government might be claiming that they have announced the panchayat elections dates prior to the Lok Sabha elections 2019, but the fact remains that the decision was taken under pressure.
A source in the BJP talking to G Plus under condition of anonymity said, “It was decided that the Panchayat and Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) elections will be conducted after Lok Sabha elections but due to pressure from the Gauhati High Court (GHC), the Panchayat elections will be conducted before December 15.”
The same is not happening in the case of GMC elections though because neither any GMC councillor nor any citizen has approached the court for holding GMC elections on time despite the tenure of the councillors having ended way back in July.
The panchayat tenure ended last year and the polls have remained pending since then but the BJP government, “scared” of anti-incumbency issues, tried their best to postpone the polls offering excuses like the National Register of Citizens (NRC) updating process et al.
The BJP source said, “The party feels that there might be an anti-incumbency factor which might get highlighted if the polls are conducted, but now that the GHC has ordered it, the government has to complete the polls before 15th December.” The source revealed that as there are exams in schools and colleges towards December end and early January, the government will be conducting the polls before 15th December.
The poll notification was announced by the State Election Commissioner, HN Bora, on 5th November, bringing into force the model code of conduct with immediate effect.
Though the dates for the panchayat polls have been announced, the GMC polls are likely to be conducted after the Lok Sabha polls of 2019.
A BJP councillor of Guwahati, talking to G Plus said, “We enquired about the GMC elections after the panchayat poll dates were announced; the party wants to conduct it after the 2019 general elections.”
The Congress Party is drawing mileage on the issue and the leader of opposition, Debabrata Saikia, talking to G Plus said, “Scared of the anti-incumbency factor, BJP tried to postpone the panchayat elections but now they will witness the result of the mistakes they made in the last three years.”
Is the BJP scared on the anti-incumbency factor front? G Plus tried contacting BJP leaders but they did not want to comment on the issue and said that they will reply to the question after the elections are conducted and the results are out.
We are prepared for Panchayat Polls: Congress
Though, with the announcement of the panchayat poll dates, there is hardly around one month for the preparation, the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) claimed that they are confident of winning the polls.
Leader of opposition Debabrata Saikia said, “We have been preparing since the last one year and we are confident of winning.”
He claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying its best to woo the rural population by its “false” promises but the masses understand what problems they went through in the last three years and they will vote accordingly.
Saikia said that the announcements like Jan Dhan Yojana to tea workers and subsidised seeds to the farmers will not help because the rural masses have only suffered in the last three years. “There has been no development,” said Saikia.
Saikia said that decisions like demonetisation and unplanned Goods & Services Tax (GST) implementation will benefit the Congress.
“Citizenship Bill to harm BJP” – BJP source
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 might impact the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) negatively during the panchayat polls as the Assamese people are not happy with the Bill.
A source in BJP said, “The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill might harm the party as many people of the state are against the decision.”
The source also revealed that the rural population are still ignorant about the bill and many feel that the bill, if amended, might allow many migrants to settle down in Assam.
The recent state-wide stirs were supported by the people of Assam with even many state government officials observing the day as a bandh.
60 organisations are totally against the bill and there are political allies like Asom Gana Parishad which has announced that it will break ties with BJP if the bill is amended.