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State Government draws flak from Congress, PPA

Municipal polls deferment

Our correspondent
Itanagar, May1: The Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has slammed the State government for deferring the municipal elections and termed it irrational, saying that the monsoon for postponing the municipal elections is fabricated and uncalled for by the Pema Khandu-led BJP government.
In a press note, APCC said that the last elections (panchayats and municipalities), which were conducted simultaneously, didn’t face any problem due to the monsoon season. Even the remote villages safely conducted the panchayat election, then where is the question of untoward incidents likely to occur in this municipal election, it asked.
“Secondly, how the State government can forecast that there will be inclement weather during poll when the IMD predicted normal weather round the summer,” the party questioned.
Alleging that the State government has already played shameful tactics of converting three-tier Panchayati Raj institutions to two-tier, APCC said: “Postponement of both the elections is totally a concocted act of the Khandu government.
“The State government is whimsically escaping from the local self-government election for the sake of grabbing power,” the APCC alleged.
Describing it ‘a total break down and mockery of the Constitution in the State’, APCC cautioned the government to conduct the election on schedule as specified in the 73rd Amendment and clause of Article 243 U of Constitution of India (Panchayat and Municipality).
Asserting that it will not remain a silent spectator while the Constitution of the country is being played by the State government for its vested interest, APCC said that it would continue to protest through democratic movement for the betterment of people of the State.
Stunned by the news of the State Election Commission deferring the election to Itanagar and Pasighat municipalities owing to the inability of the respective district administrations to conduct the polls in view of the monsoon season, People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) president Kahfa Bengia said, “The decision is arbitrary, whimsical and anti democratic.
“The way the Election Commission had announced the schedule of the election and the manner in which the news of the deferment of the municipal elections came, raises a lot of queries that has to be replied by the BJP-led government in the State,” Bengia said in a statement here.
“The reason given for deferring the elections is completely irrational which reflects the arrogant attitude of government, undermining the public of the State. The deferment of the municipal elections raises other questions like the budgetary allocations made for the conduct of the elections, the issue of 33% reservation meant for the women, etc. The government must come out clean on the total budget allocation meant for the conduct of the municipal elections and its action taken on the 33% reservation issue for women,” he added.
“The monsoon season has nothing to do with the conduct of the elections since the elections are scheduled only for two places. Besides, both Pasighat and Itanagar are well connected,” Bengia rued.
“It is a matter of serious concern that the administrative authorities of both these places have been coerced into giving lame excuses for deferring the elections on political grounds. The decision is politically motivated, trampling the democratic sprit in the State,” alleged the PPA president.

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Ankur Kalita