GUWAHATI, Dec 22 � Notification for Panchayat election in the State has once again stirred the demand for elections in the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), which is running presently without a body of elected public representatives.
The general council of the corporation stands dissolved since May, 2008.
�According to the Constitutional provisions, the elections in the civic body must be held within six months of the dissolution of the council. Whereas the State Election Commission has been so prompt in holding the Panchayat elections, it should also ensure that the people of Guwahati get a fair chance to elect their representatives in the corporation,� chairman of the GMC Ex-councilors� Forum, Kushal Sarma said asking the Election Commission to make its stand clear on the issue.
The forum has also filed an RTI application seeking various details related to elections in the corporation.
�Till now, there was a legal problem regarding conducting the elections as a court case regarding the issue was pending in the Gauhati High Court. But now, as the court has paved way for GMC election in its verdict in October, 2012, the Election Commission must take necessary steps to conducts elections,� he added.
It may be noted here that the court had passed an interim stay order for the election as one Khanindra Das moved the High Court in 2009 challenging the government�s decisions to reduce GMC wards and introduce ward committees.
Lambasting the State government for its �failure� to develop Guwahati city, another ex-councillor Prabhat Das of AGP said that the government is not holding elections in the GMC due to the lack of political will. �Government is not willing to develop Guwahati city and solve the problems being faced by the citizens. Delaying the civic body election for so long amounts to the violation of the Constitutional provision,� Das said, further alleging that no announcement from the State government regarding holding elections in the civic body, despite directives in this regard by the Gauhati High Court, has irked people.
�In the absence of local councilors of the area, it has become difficult for the people to approach the GMC for solution of their various problems. Running the civic body by bureaucrats, without local self governance is against the democratic principles,� he added.