GUWAHATI, April 27 - The panchayat elections in the State have plunged into uncertainty with the Deputy Commissioners in the districts citing their lack of preparedness due to shortage of manpower.
The Supreme Court had in a ruling last month said that only one Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) from each district can be relieved from NRC-related works to be engaged in poll duty, but no other officer engaged in NRC duty can be spared for elections.
Official sources said that Deputy Commissioners of all districts, except Kamrup (Metro) and Majuli, have expressed their inability to conduct the elections due to shortage of manpower.
�In Kamrup Metro, the number of government officials is much more than in others and in Majuli the pressure of NRC work is comparatively less. So they have said, they can manage the elections,� the sources told The Assam Tribune.
In the wake of the development, the State election commission has �referred the matter to the State government�.
Around 50,000 government officials have been engaged in the NRC update work. The Supreme Court has directed publication of the complete draft by June 30.
The State election commission is also worried that in the event of floods this monsoon, the elections may be delayed further.
The panchayat elections in the State were due in the State in March, 2018. The last polls to the local bodies were held between December, 2012 and February, 2013.
Meanwhile, the State government has asked the Deputy Commissioners to take over the local bodies by engaging senior officials to look after them. However, that directive has not gone down well among the elected members of the local bodies. Several elected members of the local bodies have moved the Gauhati High Court, pleading that they should be allowed to continue in the posts.
The State election commission, which has been made one of the respondents, has already submitted its affidavit in the court.
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 in 21,180. Besides, there are also 2,118 Anchalik Panchayat members and 404 Zila Parishad constituencies.