As the day of Panchayat elections are approaching, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is gradually inching towards a thumping victory once again.
According to reports, altogether 6,111 seats of 591 Gram Panchayats, 419 seats of 35 Panchayat Samities and 116 seats of Zila Parishads are going to polls on July 27 next. And, the ruling BJP fielded candidates in all the Panchayat seats whereas, the opposition parties - CPIM and Congress could not even contest in about 50 percent of the total seats. In some areas, nominations of the opposition candidates were also withdrawn prior to the polls.
Preliminary reports suggest, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is winning 5,384 Panchayat seats, 326 Panchayat Samiti seats and 26 Zila Parishad seats uncontested.
In regards to the opposition parties, the CPIM filed nominations in 594 Panchayat seats, 408 Panchayat Samiti seats and 93 Zila Parishad seats. CPI, the ally of the CPIM fielded their candidates in six seats—four in Gram Panchayat and two in Panchayat Samiti.
Congress, which emerged as the second leading party in the just concluded Lok Sabha elections also continued their lead in Panchayat over CPIM. According to sources, the Congress candidates had filed nominations in 882 seats altogether including 727 in Gram Panchayat, 74 in Panchayat Samiti and 81 in Zilla Parishad. IPFT also fielded candidates in some of the seats but the number was negligible of the total seats.
There are many districts where Panchayat elections are remained merely a formality. Such as at Dhalai district, all the opposition candidates have withdrawn their nominations. Similar is the situation at Sonamura where no elections are going to be held for Panchayat seats as all the ruling party candidates remained unchallenged. But, in 6 of the 10 Zilla Parishad seats elections are going to be held.