GUWAHATI: The setback in the Assembly election results put BJP leaders’ confidence at a low ebb on Tuesday. However, the leaders of the party in Assam heaved a sigh of relief on Wednesday with the trend of the rural poll results here showing a clear lead of their candidates. The counting of panchayat poll votes began at 8 am on Wednesday in 26 districts where elections were held in two phases – on December 5 and December 9. So far the trend of the results shows that the Opposition Congress seems to have failed to avail the advantage of the divided ruling coalition at Dispur – the BJP, AGP and the BPF – fighting the rural poll on their own.
Despite being a coalition partner at Dispur and vocal against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 the AGP seems to not being able to get a sizeable piece of the rural power pie. The AIUDF, as the trend shows till filing of this report, is also maintaining a declining trend.
Talking to the media at 6.30 pm in Guwahati on Wednesday, State Election Commissioner HN Bora said: “Counting is going on. Since counting of votes cast in ballot paper is a slow affair and repoll in 16 polling stations in Karimganj district was held today, counting is to continue till tomorrow. As of now no result of any ZPC has been declared officially. Results are expected after mid-night. Barring a few incidents outside counting centres involving party supporters, the counting is peaceful. The incidents have been ably tackled by security personnel. This rural poll registered 82 per turnout.”
According to the SEC, the BJP is leading, followed by the Congress and the AGP.
According to information received from several district administrations, the reason behind such a slow progress of counting is: each ballot box contains four different ballot papers for as many categories of candidates – zila parishad members, anchalik panchayat members, gaon panchayat presidents and gaon panchayat members. The first job being done after opening a ballot box is segregating the four different types of ballots and tying them in bundles separately so as to make them ready for counting.
The trend and results as of now show that while the BJP is faring well in Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s home constituency Majuli and upper Assam districts, the Congress is leading in former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s bastion Titabor and Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia’s Nazira. The AGP, on the other hand, is doing better in Bongaigaon from where minister Phani Bhushan Choudhury made it to the Assembly.
The number of candidates in fray in this Panchayat poll is 78,571. According to the State Election Commission, a total of 734 candidates were elected unopposed – 380 of the BJP, 193 of the Congress, 28 of the AGP, ten of the AIUDF, five of the BPF, one of the CPI(M) and 117 independent candidates.
In the 2013 panchayat poll elections, out of the 420 ZPCs the BJP got 15, AGP got 29, AIUDF got 76, the Congress got 273, CPI(M) 2, CPI 1 and independents 24. In the GP president category the AGP won 183, AIUDF 386, BJP 106, BPF 2, CPI 2, CPI(M) 1, Congress 1,223 and independents 285 in that year.
Total seats— 21,990
Result declared — 1672
CPI (M)— 2
GAON PANCHAYAT PRESIDENT
Total seats— 2199
Result declared — 125
ANCHALIK PANCHAYAT MEMBER
Result declared —192
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