With polls not held amid lockdown, BTC areas in Assam come under Governor’s rule
With the lockdown in place to curb the spread of Covid-19, the state election commission informed the Assam governor of its inability to conduct polls to the BTC general council while adhering to social distancing and other restrictions in place due to coronavirus outbreak.Updated: Apr 28, 2020 10:35 IST
Areas falling under the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) in Assam came under Governor’s Rule from Monday after the state election commission failed to hold polls due to the ongoing nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
“In view of the expiry of the term of the Bodoland Territorital General Council today, Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi has resolved to assume the administration of BTC with immediate effect in public interest,” said a Raj Bhawan release.
Four districts in Assam - Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri - come under the administration of BTC and are collectively called Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD).
Election to the 40 constituencies of the council was scheduled on April 4, according to news agency PTI. However, the state election commission deferred it indefinitely on March 20 because of the Covid-19 scenario.
But with the lockdown continuing, the state election commission informed the governor of its inability to conduct polls to the BTC general council while adhering to social distancing and other restrictions in place due to coronavirus outbreak.
The governor decided to assume control of BTC in exercise of powers vested in him under sub-paragraph 2 and Para 16th of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. He has appointed Rajesh Prasad, IAS, principal secretary to the Assam government as the administrator of BTC areas.
The Assam Cabinet, in its meeting on Monday, decided to request the State Election Commissioner to conduct the elections as soon as possible with some innovative ideas to avoid large gatherings, reports PTI.
Addressing the media after the Cabinet meeting, Assam Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said, “There can be door-to-door campaigns.”
(With inputs from PTI)