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Term of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Expired 15 Months Back, Not Poll As Yet

Term of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Expired 15 Months Back, Not Poll As Yet

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  22 Sep 2019 6:01 AM GMT


GUWAHATI: Though 15 months have already elapsed following the expiery of tenure of the present executive body of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), no step has been initiated as yet for election of its office bearers. The term of the present executive body of the GMC expired in June 2018. This is notwithstanding the fact that the Assam State Election Commission has already published the draft electoral rolls. However now, with the final NRC published, Lok Sabha elections held, and the flood season over, the Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner (DC) can give the green signal for holding the polls to this civic body of the premier city of the Northeast, sources feel.

Meanwhile, as per a notification issued by the State Governor on September 20, Maninder Singh — the Additional Chief Secretary of Guwahati Development Department (GDD) — was appointed as the Administrator of GMC to run the affairs of the Corporation and exercise and perform the powers and duties of the Corporation.” Though an autonomous body, the GMC functions under the GDD.

Chief Election Commissioner, Assam State Election Commission, HN Bora told The Sentinel that though “the State Election Commission was prepared for the GMC polls well before the end of the term of the civic body, and also held several meetings with the then Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner, the latter expressed his inability to conduct the elections timely.”

Pointing out the factors that had hindered conduct of the timely GMC polls, Bora referred to the engagement of several government employees in the then ongoing updation work of NRC (National Register of Citizens); and also the Supreme Court directive not to engage the government employees engaged in the NRC work in any other official activity.

Bora also stated that “during 2018, the State Election Commission had to conduct the panchayat polls across the State as per the directive of the Gauhati High Court. Even during 2019, the GMC polls could not be held owing to the pending work of NRC, the Lok Sabha elections, as well as the annual floods where many government employees had to be engaged.”

In June 2019, the State Cabinet took a decision to increase the number of wards under GMC to 60 from the existing 31. However, “The Assam State Election Commission has not received any notification in this regard,” Bora said.

The tenure of State Election Commissioner HN Bora will be completed on September 30, 2019. During his five-year term, more than 10 elections were conducted across the State. These include the polls to the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) in 2015; the elections to the Deori, Thengal, and Karbi Anglong autonomous councils in 2016; the panchayat elections of the State in 2018 as well as to the autonomous councils of Sonowal Kachari, Mising, and Rabha Hasong that very year.

However, according to sources, the possibility of the GMC polls being held within September is rather bleak. The elections to the civic body will then be possible only after the new State Election Commissioner is appointed.

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