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AIUDF opposes panchayat polls during claims disposal

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 9 - The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) has opposed holding of panchayat polls while work on receipt and disposal of claims and objections for the final NRC is progressing around August-September.

Addressing the media here today, AIUDF general secretary Aminul Islam said that holding panchayat polls at a time when work on the final NRC will go on will lead to confusion among the people and also create problems for government staff, police and paramilitary personnel, as well as political parties.

�We are aware that the Gauhati High Court has directed that panchayat polls be conducted before September 15. However, while holding elections is a constitutional obligation, the Supreme Court itself has said that updating the NRC in a national commitment. Once the second draft of the NRC is published on July 30, the process for the final NRC, including settlement of claims and objections, will be taken up. The final NRC is to be released by December 31. So if panchayat polls are held at the same time, then it will lead to confusion and also disrupt the NRC update process,� Islam said.

�Both things should not happen at the same time. We do not want any disruption in NRC work. If both are carried out simultaneously, then we will be forced to think that there is some political conspiracy.�

Islam said the entire government machinery has been deployed in the NRC update process.

�If panchayat polls are held while claims and objections regarding NRC are being examined, then what will be focus of the police and paramilitary personnel, political parties and government staff? There is already staff scarcity. Besides, the flood season continues till September. It will also create confusion among voters. Will they focus on the panchayat polls or on getting their NRC claims settled?� he asked.

Asked if the AIUDF wants the panchayat polls to be postponed, Islam refused to give a direct answer and said, �We cannot go against the court order. We want the State government and the State Election Commission (SEC) to look into the matter. The government and the SEC should understand the issue. NRC is a matter of life and death for Assam. There cannot be any compromise on NRC.�

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