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Panchayat poll notification likely by Nov 16

Assam likely to go for panchayat polls in December as the State State Election Commission is clearing the decks for issue poll notification on November 16 to complete the entire poll process January 15 next.

According to information, the state poll panel is waiting for a High Court verdict likely on November 13 while it will take up a case of a section of panchayat members for holding the panchayat polls in the State.

If the High Court directs the Government to hold the panchayat polls, the State Election Commission will issue the poll notification after two days of the court directive.

Notably, earlier the Court had asked the State Government to hold panchayat polls by October 13, 2007, but the Government in an affidavit in the court pleaded that it will find it almost difficult to hold it with a flood ravaged roads and allied infrastructure in the State.

Addressing a press conference here recently, state election officer disclosed that the state will need 24,000 voting centres and one lakh officials for panchayat polls.

He said the State Government would have to increase its budget for the panchayat polls. The current amount in the Budget for panchayat polls is Rs 35 crore which will be a paltry amount.

“The Government has released Rs 3.20 crore while Rs 50 lakh has been remaining unpaid to the Assam Government Marketing Corporation Ltd for purchase of ballot papers Another amount of Rs 11 lakh has been released for preliminary official work,” said the officer.
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