Saturday, September 25, 2021
North East

Parties want three-phase polls in Assam, most prefer elections before Rongali Bihu

voting 1

Guwahati, January 19: Political parties in Assam on Tuesday urged the Election Commission to conduct the assembly elections in the state in three phases, and preferably before the Rongali Bihu festival in April.

The full bench of the EC, on a three-day visit to the state, held discussions with the representatives of different political parties at a hotel here.
The ruling BJP submitted before the EC that the polls be held in three phases before the Bihu festivities, party leader Jayanta Malla Barua said.
The AIUDF, AGP and the CPI(M) also urged that the assembly polls be held before the Bihu in two or more phases so that the people of the state are free to celebrate their most important festival.
The Congress, however, asked the EC to consider holding the elections after the Bihu, the party’s state legal cell chairman Niren Borah said.
However, it is the prerogative of the EC to decide on the dates, he said, adding that the party wants three-phase polls.
The Congress also urged the EC that senior IAS officers be sent as election observers to ensure free and fair polls, besides providing adequate security personnel in the remote and sensitive centres, he said.
The party also requested that the gap between the polling dates and the counting should be less and there should be proper CCTV and security arrangements in the counting rooms, Borah added.
The AIUDF urged the EC to permanently resolve the long-standing issue of Doubtful or D-voters, which exists only in Assam, the party’s general secretary Aminul Islam said.
There is nothing except voter and non-voter in the other states but in Assam there exists the doubtful voter until they are declared foreigners, he said.
“The EC being the highest authority regarding the electorate, should resolve it permanently,” he added.
The EC officials, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, also held meetings with officials of central and state regulatory bodies, besides district election officers and superintendents of police during the day.
The EC officials arrived here on Monday evening and held a meeting with nodal officers of the police.
The EC will also hold discussions with Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua and other senior officials, and address the press before leaving for poll-bound West Bengal on Wednesday.
The other members of the high-level delegation are Election Commissioners Sushil Chandra and Rajiv Kumar, EC’s Director General Dharmendra Sharma, Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhusan Kumar, Senior Principal Secretary Narendra N Butolia, Director of Expenditure Pankaj Srivastava and EVM Consultant Vipin Katara.
Earlier, an EC team led by the director-general visited Assam from January 11 to 13 to take stock of the preparedness, both at the district and the state level, regarding the assembly elections in the state.
The current term of the 126-member Assam assembly is scheduled to end in May. (PTI)