Assam Election Process Begins, Parties Rev Up
File picture: Assam readies for polls
NEW DELHI: A Central Election Commission team started a two-day visit to Assam to assess the situation on the ground before the elections to the State Assembly, due next year
The Chief Election Commissioner Dr Nasim Zaidi on Monday met the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU). The students demanded that the Election Commission (EC) should ensure a correct voters’ list in the State, while most of the political parties are of the view that the election should be over before the Bohag Bihu.
A delegation of the AASU met the EC team and alleged that the voters’ lists of Assam contained names of a large number of foreign nationals and there was an instance of a foreigner contesting the elections in the State before he was caught and deported.
Rajesh Malhotra, Director Media and Communications, Election Commission, told The Citizen, “The CEC and ECs have visited Guwahati to hear the stakeholders. This is a regular practice that we always do. This is to get the feel of the place and also to figure out about the real issues in the state that is bothering people”.
The team met the political leaders, top government officials, students and the representatives of the civil society.
The Congress demanded that the election should be held before the Bohag Bihu, and in two phases. The party also called upon the EC to ensure proper security along the inter-State border areas.
The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) also said that the election should be held before the Bohag Bihu, and in three phases. However, the party said that the election should not affect the examinations. The party also demanded that the EC should ensure CCTV camera recording of the entire election process and adequate steps should be taken to ensure free and fair polls. The party called upon the EC to keep a close watch on the situation and activities of the armed groups. Micro-level observers from outside the State should be posted in the State during the entire election process, the party demanded.
The State unit of the BJP is also of the view that the elections should be held before the Bohag Bihu, in two phases. The party said that the Commission should take adequate precautionary measures to ensure free and fair polls and CCTV camera surveillance should be maintained in the sensitive polling stations. As it is expected that the NRC would be prepared before the elections, the voters list should be revised accordingly so that no foreigner can cast his or her vote, the BJP demanded.
The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) also demanded holding of elections before Bihu, and in two phases. The party said that the EC should closely monitor the law and order situation to ensure free and fair polls. The State unit of the CPI demanded that the voters’ lists should be revised as per the updated NRC and all-out efforts should be made to seize all illegal weapons.
“Review meetings and hearing each aspect is part of the poll preparedness. The hearings will be taken into consideration” added Malhotra.
The EC team would hold detailed discussion on the situation in the State and preparedness for holding elections with the senior officers of the State Government during the visit. After meeting representatives of political parties and organisations, the EC team held talks with the State Election Department officials this evening. The members of the team will hold talks with senior officers and Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police on Tuesday.