Silchar: The polling for the panchayat elections which began this morning from 7 and concluded at 3 across Barak Valley drew huge number of voters and according to official sources on an average 70 per cent votes have been cast in the booths of three districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi. Excepting some stray incidents, the polling has been by and large peaceful. There has been no deployment of paramilitary forces in Cachar, though of the 1659 polling booths in Cachar, 525 has been identified as hyper sensitive and 872 as sensitive. The confident district administration of Cachar in coordination with the police has made elaborate security arrangement. It has taken as a challenge to conduct the poll in a free and fair manner.
10 lakh 55 thousand voters exercising their franchise are to decide the fate of 5919 candidates contesting for the panchayat elections. 105 candidates for ZPC, 565 for AP, 592 for GP presidents and 4657 for group members will have their fate decided on December 12 with the publication of the results. In the midst of the exercise of votes by people, leaders of different political parties, mainly BJP, Congress and AIUDF, are claiming the maximum number of seats in their respective favour. Ajit Singh, Congress leader and former cabinet minister, is confident of capturing the largest chunk of seats in the goan panchayat.
He said the exit poll results of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telengana and Mizoram are definite indication of BJP being on back foot and this is going to reflect in the panchayat polls of Brahmaputra and Barak valleys. People are disillusioned with the performance of BJP government at the Centre and the states. BJP state spokesperson Dr Rajdeep Roy, on the other hand, debunked the claim of Ajit Singh and said his party is going to dominate the panchayat system not only in Cachar but also in the two districts of Karimganj and Hailakandi.
AIUDF Cachar district president Shaminul Haque Barbhuiya, dismissing the prediction of both Congress and BJP said his party will win maximum seats to rule the panchayats of the valley. He quoted ground reports to assert the victory on the strength of the huge turnout of their supporters to vote. According to a report, huge turnout of voters at 801 Ghantagram LP School in Lakhipur sub division, the casting of votes continued even after 5 pm. Another report says that in the polling booth of Bilpar in the town miscreants took away a ballot box and hurled it in the pond which was retrieved by the polling personnel with the help of police.
At Uttarkrishnapur booth near the town, there were clashes between two groups of supporters of political parties. In the midst of the overwhelming enthusiasm in the people of rural belts to exercise their franchise, voters of 22 GPs under south Karimganj constituency have shown indifferent attitude to vote. The reasons given by a number of voters are not different from other areas. Their insensitiveness to vote has arisen due to total negligence of their areas by the administration. The candidates canvassing for their support have to face angry protests. They could not have answer to their allegations of rampant corruptions in implementation of welfare schemes.
Their litany of charges ranges from lack of safe drinking water, PDS anomalies, rickety health structure, scourges of floods every year and the sky rocketing prices of essential commodities. In the final counting, Nilambazaar with its 22 GPs will perhaps make a record of lowest percentage of votes cast. In Cachar, ballot boxes will be kept in the campus of ISBT and ISTT for counting on December 12.
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