Amidst all speculations about the ensuing Panchayat elections in Assam, State Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Ranjeet Kumar Dass has announced that the polls would be held in Bohag month (April-May) this year.
Dass, while speaking to media persons at Dhekiajuli in Sonitpur district said that the Panchayat elections would be held this Bohag and their party is fully prepared for the polls. As it blows the poll bugle, it also raises the question whether the Assam BJP has been forced to announce the poll only after the Supreme Court order.
Speaking to Northeast Now, Assam BJP spokesperson Padma Hazarika said, “We started our preparation to contest the Panchayat polls since December. We are very confident of our victory and it would be wrong to say that the BJP-led government has decided to hold the polls this Bohag after the Supreme Court order. Bohag is the ideal time for holding Panchayat elections. However, there might be some manpower crunch at that time. Maybe, the government will have to engage people from banks also in election duties.”
Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) spokesperson Apurba Bhattacharya, meanwhile, said that the BJP ideally would have deferred the elections but after the Supreme Court order, they have announced that the polls would be held in Bohag. “BJP would have deferred both Panchayat elections and the NRC (National Register of Citizens) publication, if there was no intervention of the Supreme Court. Anyway, State BJP President Ranjeet Das’ statements don’t have much value. He has been telling about Cabinet reshuffle since long which has not happened till now. However, our party is ready for the poll whenever it is held,” said Bhattacharya.
All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) General Secretary Aminul Haque raised the issue of manpower to hold the Panchayat polls. Haque said, “Even if Ranjeet Dass has said that the election would be held in Bohag, would there be enough manpower? Generally, schoolteachers are deputed for conducting elections. However, various exams would be held till the middle of March. If the government can arrange manpower and conduct election, it is well and good. But this needs to be decided by the government and the workers council. Also, we don’t want NRC update to be hampered in any manner because of the election.”