EC team to visit Assam, parties seek polls before Bihu

Monday, January 24, 2011

GUWAHATI - The full bench of the Central Election Commission led by Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Qureshi will visit Assam later this week to oversee the state’s preparedness for the upcoming assembly elections, an official said Monday.

The two-day visit comes in the face of both the ruling Congress party and the opposition Asom Gana Parishad Monday demanding that polls be held before Bohag Bihu, the Assamese New Year, beginning April 14.

The full bench of the Election Commission will arrive Friday and will hold discussions with political parties, civil and police officials, non-political groups and even principals of schools and colleges, Mukesh Sahu, a state election official, said.

Elections to the 126-member state legislature are due before May.

Meanwhile, both the ruling Congress party and main opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) Monday demanded elections be held before Bohag Bihu.

We want the election process to be over before Bihu. Then people can enjoy the festival without any hindrance, AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary said.

The AGP, however, wants the polls to be held in five phases.

We want the polls to be spread over at least five phases. In the past some booths literally went unmanned because of lack of enough security forces on the polling day, Patowary said.

Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Bhubaneswar Kalita also said the elections need to be held before the Bihu New Year’s celebrations.

Filed under: Politics

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