GUWAHATI, Sept 5 - Unable to meet the September 15 deadline set by Gauhati High Court to hold the panchayat polls, the State Election Commission has sought more time for conducting the exercise.
The State Government has been non-committal on providing the manpower required for the polls, given the fact that still many employees have been engaged in the NRC update works.
Sources also said the Government has asked the election Commission to take a decision taking into consideration the flood situation in the State as well.
Accordingly, the Commission has filed an affidavit in the court seeking more time on those grounds. The high court is expected to take up the matter next week.
According to an estimate by the Election Commission, it would require around 1.60 lakh officials and personnel to conduct the elections. "Moreover, even if one or two districts are in grip of floods, it would be inconvenient to hold the polls. Ultimately, the counting will have to be done simultaneously," official sources said.
Given the situation, the panchayat polls are unlikely before November.
Sources said the State Police has, however, committed to provide security personnel considering that there has been no untoward incident post publication of the draft NRC and the situation in the State was by and large peaceful.
The Supreme Court had restricted the sparing of government officials engaged in NRC work for elections till the publication of the draft NRC.
Over 50,000 government officials have been engaged in the NRC update work.
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.