MANASH PRATIM DUTTA
GUWAHATI, Dec 3 - Eviction and crisis of basic amenities will play a vital role in the panchayat election in Janasimalu, a panchayat area under the Kamrup (Metro) district administration located in the eastern hilly area of Guwahati.
The area, located about 12 kilometres from the Dispur State capital complex, falls under Amsing gaon panchayat constituency, Chandrapur anchalik panchayat constituency and Pragjyotishpur zila parishad constituency. According to sources the area comprises about 500 voters for the panchayat election.
“We live very near Guwahati city, but our living condition is pathetic. There is neither a well-constructed road nor supply of drinking water. Above all, the fear of eviction by the administration always looms over us. So in this election, we, the local people, look for some candidate who could ensure our safeguard,” Baikuntha Barman, a resident of Janasimalu village told The Assam Tribune.
Barman also said that since the eviction drive carried out by the Kamrup (Metro) district administration last year, the locals of Janasimalu have not availed electricity in their homes, which is also a major election issue this time. It may be mentioned that they had enjoyed power facilities before the eviction drive.
During November last year, the Kamrup (Metro) district administration had carried out a drive in this area – which falls in the reserve forest land of Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary – to remove the alleged illegal structures.
“In this area, the population comprises various indigenous tribes of Assam. Most of the people work in various private entities of Guwahati, while some others run small businesses. All the people had migrated to this area from various parts of the State in search of livelihood. Some are also flood victims. Unfortunately, we still have no access to basic facilities, which the government provides to all citizens of the country. So this time, the locals will be very selective while casting their vote,” Madan Das, another resident of the area said.
Earlier, a section of people of the area who were affected by the eviction drive, had announced that they would boycott the panchayat poll. But later they abandoned the decision and according to sources, they are also fielding their own candidates for some posts in the election.
In Kamrup (Metro) voting for the panchayat election will be held on December 5. Campaigning ended this evening. The State Election Commission has deployed altogether 38 sector officers and 11 zonal officers in the district to conduct the election.
According to the district administration, election will be held for 258 seats. Among the seats, 100 are reserved for general candidates, 20 are reserved for SC candidates, 10 are reserved for ST candidates, 16 for SC women, 18 for ST women and 94 for general woman
This time altogether 686 candidates will contest the election. Among them 168 candidates are from AGP, 244 from BJP, two from CPI, three from CPI (M), 234 from Congress and 35 are independent candidates. Six candidates – two from the BJP and four from the Congress – have in the meantime been elected uncontested.