GUWAHATI, Oct 23 - As part of preparation for the forthcoming panchayat polls, opposition Congress party will soon constitute committees at the block, district and State levels for selection of its candidates.
Sources in the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee said that modalities for constitution of the election committees are expected to be finalised within a week.
�Election committees will be formed at the block, district and State levels. Such committees will have the ultimate say in the selection of our party candidates for the panchayat polls,� a senior Congress leader told The Assam Tribune.
He said the party will �decentralise� the candidate selection process. �Only candidates for the zila parishads will be selected by the State-level committee. In case of all other tiers of the panchayat structure, it will be the district and block level election committees which will have the final word on deciding our nominees,� said the leader.
The election committees will comprise senior party office-bearers, including the respective presidents of the district or block Congress, as well as candidates who had earlier contested in the Assembly or Parliamentary polls.
Each committee, whether at the block, district or State level, will comprise a maximum of 15 members and will scrutinise the list of all interested candidates who will apply seeking the party�s ticket for the panchayat elections.
The issue of formation of the election committees will be discussed at a meeting scheduled to be held at the Rajiv Bhawan here on October 25. The meeting will be attended by former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, APCC president Ripun Bora and Leader of Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia, along with other senior Congress leaders.
While the October 25 meeting has been called to review the party�s ongoing Statewide �Jan Sampark Abhiyan�, the issue of preparation for the panchayat polls is also expected to be discussed during it, said State Congress sources.
The grand old party is keen to fight the panchayat polls on local issues. �While State-level issues like the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, NRC and price rise will no doubt be raised by us, we will give maximum thrust to local issues as well as to matters related to the agriculture and rural sectors. After all, panchayat polls are local elections. Besides, some issue which, for example, may resonate with the electorate in Dibrugarh may not have relevance for the voters in Barpeta. We want to contest the polls highlighting issues with which the voters can identify and associate themselves,� said APCC secretary Rhituparna Konwar.
He said AICC general secretary and in-charge for Assam and former CM of Uttarakhand Harish Rawat will visit the State from October 29 to November 4. �During his visit, Rawat will review the party�s work in the three districts of Barak Valley, besides Dima Hasao, Karbi Anglong, West Karbi Anglong and Hojai,� said Konwar.