Assam Gears Up for Panchayat Elections within Six Months

Assam's Cabinet Minister for Panchayat and Rural Development, Ranjeet Kumar Dass, announces upcoming panchayat elections, crucial for securing the 15th Finance Commission grant.
Assam Gears Up for Panchayat Elections within Six Months

GUWAHATI: During the second day of the budget session at the Assam Legislative Assembly, Cabinet Minister for Panchayat and Rural Development, Ranjeet Kumar Dass, revealed plans for organizing panchayat elections within the next six months. The announcement, made on Tuesday, underscores the state's commitment to democratic processes and local governance.

Sources indicate that until the elections are conducted, guardian ministers will assume responsibility for overseeing the functioning of the panchayats. A formal decision on this interim arrangement is expected to be reached soon within the state cabinet, adding a layer of continuity to local governance during this transitional period.

The urgency to conduct the panchayat elections within the stipulated timeframe arises from concerns that Assam may waive the 15th Finance Commission grant if the democratic process is not completed within the designated six months. This grant holds crucial financial implications for the state's developmental projects and initiatives.

To ensure a smooth electoral process, the state government has initiated preparations well in advance. Each panchayat is slated for restructuring ahead of the elections, with committees to be formed. These committees will be chaired by District Commissioners (DCs) from each district in the state, with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Zila Parishad serving as the Member Secretary. The forthcoming notification, informed by inputs from the districts, will set the groundwork for the Election Commission to compile the voter list.

Minister Ranjeet Kumar Dass highlighted that a formal notification outlining these structural changes would be issued after soliciting inputs from the districts. The Election Commission will subsequently utilize this information to compile an updated voter list, a critical step in ensuring the integrity and inclusivity of the electoral process. This entire process is expected to be concluded within the next six months, as reiterated by the Minister for Panchayat and Rural Development.

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