Assam minister Naba Kumar Doley interacting with the villagers of Bindhakata in Dibrugarh district on Monday Credit: EastMojo Image

Chabua: At a time when massive preparation is going on to hold the forthcoming panchayat elections in Assam to be held in December, a large section of voters belonging to the ancestral village of Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal have decided to boycott the electoral process.

Expressing serious concern over the failure of the authorities concerned to take initiative for the overall development of the areas under the Bindhakata gaon panchayat of Chabua in Dibrugarh district, villagers say they have been betrayed by political parties for more than 50 years now in the name of providing resettlement to the flood- and erosion-affected villagers.

Bindhakata is Sonowal’s ancestral village.

Accordingly, five among the six candidates — two each from the BJP and the Congress and one from the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) — withdrew their nomination papers on Monday. Another candidate belonging to the AGP allowed his nomination papers to get rejected by not submitting his caste certificate as per the wishes of the villagers.

Sensing the gravity of the situation, CM Sonowal immediately sent his ministerial colleague and Assam minister for panchayat and rural development Naba Kumar Doley to convince the villagers not to boycott the forthcoming panchayat polls.

However, the minister failed to break the ice as the villagers are yet to compromise on their demands.

Led by Takam Mishing Porin Kebang (TMPK), a students’ body of the Mishing community in Assam, the villagers said that they are fed up with the false promises from the successive governments and also the politicians. The latest, as per them, was the written assurance given by Assam minister Promila Rani Brahma on July 21 during which she promised that the government will rehabilitate the villagers within eight months’ time.

“Much has been said on numerous occasions for the overall development of the village. But all in vain. On various occasions, various governments in the state gave us written assurance to solve our problems. But nothing has been done in this regard as of now,” villagers said.

Urging the villagers to take part in the forthcoming panchayat elections, minister Doley, who was in the village on Monday, said, “We would like to request the villagers to re-think over the decision to boycott the forthcoming elections. It’s a democratic process. Each and everyone in the society should take part in the process. The minister also assured the villagers of taking their demands seriously once the election process is over.

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