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Urban Local Body Election Watch in Assam

Guwahati, July 29, 2009: North East Social Trust (NEST) a partner of National Election Watch (NEW) Campaign, has been monitoring the candidates for 2009 Urban Local Body Election to be held on 31st July 2009 covering 70 numbers of Town Committees and Municipality Boards of Assam. In these Urban Local Body Election total 673 wards of the state will face election where 29 constituencies are reserved for SC, 34 for SC Women, 5 for ST, 5 for ST women and 212 wards for general women.

Honorable Supreme Court of India has declared through its verdict dated 13th March 2003 that "It is essential by law to provide that a candidate seeking election, shall furnish the details of all his assets (movable/immovable) possessed by him/her, wife-husband, dependant relations, duly supported by an affidavit.

The verdict also reads that “It was suggested that inasmuch as charges were framed by a court on the basis of the material placed before it by the prosecution including the material disclosed by the charge-sheet, providing for disqualification on the ground of framing of the charge-sheet would be neither unjust nor unreasonable or arbitrary."
It also pointed out that "People are generally lured to enter politics of contest elections for getting rich overnight. Before allowing people to enter public life the public has a right to know the antecedents of such persons."

On the basis of the landmark judgment, though the State Election Commission of Assam has made declaration of Assets, Liabilities, Criminal Records and Educational Background mandatory for the candidates of Urban Local Body, however, the commission did not take necessary steps to bring the information into the public domain by uploading this information into their website for easy access of the citizens.

With share difficulties, NEEW volunteers collected the photocopies of the affidavits ULB election candidates of Jorhat, Golaghat and Lakhimpur Districts of Assam and carried out systematic analysis of these for the voters of these constituencies.

Few Highlights
•    Total 338 Candidates are covered in this analysis from Jorhat, Golaghat and Lakhimpur district of Assam.
•    Candidates from 9 town committees and 4 municipality boards’ elections are covered here.
•    Total 3 criminals are contesting in these constituencies and all are form Congress party
•    The age group of 31-40 is dominating the list with 113 candidates from this age group followed by 41-50 age group with 100 candidates. Two candidates are more than 71 years of age
•    82% candidates does not have PAN numbers
•    More than 100 Lakh Patties are contesting the election from these constituencies where Ashok Kumar Malpani top the list with more than a Crore assets.
•    9 candidates in these candidates have declared Zero assets

Data in this Kit is presented in good faith, with an intention to inform voters. Candidates’ affidavit with nomination papers is the source of this analysis.
Thank you

Tasaduk Ariful Hussain
State coordinator
Ph. 094350 54775

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