GUWAHATI, June 15 - The State Election Commission will hold the panchayat elections before September 15 following a direction from the Gauhati High Court in this regard.
Official sources said that though the Election Commission is planning to conduct the polls in three phases, a final decision will be taken after a meeting with the police top-brass.
Generally, only State police personnel are deployed for law and order during panchayat polls, and Central forces are not requisitioned.
The sources said the notification for the elections will be published by first week of August.
The panchayat elections in the State had plunged into uncertainty after the Deputy Commissioners in the districts had cited their lack of preparedness due to shortage of manpower as some 50,000 officials have been engaged in NRC duty.
But with the second draft of the NRC due to be published on June 30, the government is learnt to have expressed its inability to spare officials after that date.
The panchayat elections in the State were due in March 2018. The last polls to the local bodies were held between December 2012 and February 2013.
Assam follows a three-tier system of panchayati raj � Zila Parishad (district level), Anchalik Panchayat (block) and Gaon Panchayat at village level. There are 2,118 gaon panchayats in the State. The total number of gaon panchayat members is 21,180. Besides, there are also 2,118 Anchalik Panchayat members and 404 Zila Parishad constituencies.
This time candidates contesting for panchayat member post will have to be at least sixth standard pass, those vying for gaon panchayt president and AP member will have to be matric pass and those aspiring for zila parishads will have to be HS pass, according to a new law passed by the State Assembly.
Also, as per the Panchayat (Amendment) Bill passed by Assam Assembly recently, from now onwards, persons with more than two living children from a single partner or multiple partners, will not be eligible to contest panchayat elections.