| The president of the All Rabha Students’ Union, Tankeswar Rabha, files his nomination papers on Friday. Picture by UB Photos |
Guwahati, Oct. 25: The nominations for the maiden elections to the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council has received “tremendous response” from aspiring councillors despite the ongoing protest against the holding of the exercise next month.
State election commissioner Biren Dutta told The Telegraph this evening that as many as 207 candidates had filed their nominations for the 36 council constituencies covering parts of Kamrup and Goalpara districts. Of the 36, 16 constituencies are in Kamrup and 20 in Goalpara. While 110 candidates have filed nominations for 20 seats in Goalpara district, 97 have filed their papers for 16 seats in Kamrup.
The overall nomination numbers, Dutta claimed, suggested the popular mood was in favour of the elections. “The response is tremendous. We can say the political parties have obligations but what about the Independents. This reflects the popular mood is in favour of the polls.”
The Rabha council would have three-phase polls, the first since its formation in 1995, on November 13, 16 and 25.
Dutta had said yesterday that the number of nominations filed would reflect the ground situation in relation to the polls, given the apparent unrest since the election announcement.
While the Congress has fielded candidates in all the 36 constituencies, the Opposition AGP and BJP have fielded 21 candidates and the CPM one. There are as many as 128 Independents, including the candidates backed by the pro-poll Rabha Hasong Joint Movement Committee.
Among the prominent nominees are former minister Pranoi Rabha, former MLA Deben Daimary (both Congress) and president of the All Rabha Students’ Union Tankeswar Rabha, who will be contesting from South Dudhnai constituency. The aspirants were an enthusiastic lot.
Both the district administration and the poll panel had provided adequate security to ensure a smooth nomination process.
On the other hand, the ongoing 96-hour strike against the holding of the polls entered its third day. In Goalpara, miscreants tried to set on fire the Kharipara lower primary school in Krishnai, about 35km from Goalpara, but locals foiled the attempt. In another incident, strike supporters damaged an ASEB vehicle (AS 18C-1503). The poll panel and government sources said they would continue to engage with the anti-poll brigade to win them over to ensure the election passes off smoothly.