Panchayat polls | Dreams of Gohpur tea garden workers up in air due to new norms

Moon Gogoi

Gohpur, November 7: The tea garden workers of the Bholagiri Tea Estate, who were looking forward to the Panchayat Polls, will not be able to file nominations due to new rules and regulations.

The Assam State Election Commission declared the dates for Assam Panchayat elections on Monday saying those having more than two children will not be eligible to contest.

The Panchayat polls in Assam will be held in two phases on December 5 and December 9 in 26 districts and 14 civil sub-divisions. The counting will take place on December 12.

“Due to the new rules and regulations, a number of people will miss out on filing the nominations. I was planning to contest the election. I had set up the BJP office at my house and helped the BJP to win the earlier elections. Now, they have amended new norms of two children, I won’t be able to contest,” a local said.

As per the Assam Panchayat (Constitution) (Amendment) Rules, 2018, the candidates who have more than two living children from a single or multiple partners will be disqualified from contesting the election. The candidates for the general category must have passed Class VI examination and there is no minimum benchmark  for persons from SC, ST, OBC and MOBC category.

“The tea tribe people are generally not very highly qualified. Also, in most of the families, they have more than two children. These people do not even have toilets in their homes. Our dreams to contest election will never materialize,” added another local.

To contest for Anchalik panchayat election, the candidates from general category must have passed Class 10 examination while education up to class eight is required for the village panchayat president and persons from SC, ST, OBC and MOBC category.