The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has rejected the invitation of the Election Commission to participate in the consultancy process with respect to Delimitation on Tuesday.
While addressing a press meeting at Rajiv Bhawan in Guwahati, APCC chief Bhupen Borah said, “The EC sent us invitation again after we did not participate in the consultancy process though several political parties who had attended the meeting suggested us that we should have gone and participate in it.”
“But we weren’t waiting for the consultancy process to happen as we met the EC just after the notification of delimitation process was issued,” Borah said.
“Other political parties have put forward their views regarding the delimitation process to the EC however, we did the same before the consultancy process was started,” he added.
Giving these statements, the APCC chief said, “So, we do not have any additional views or opinions to put forward in front of the Election Commission.”
Yesterday, after top Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leaders and Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president decided not to participate in the consultation process of the ongoing delimitation exercise, following no suitable response from the Election Commission of India (ECI) despite repeated reminders, the ECI, on the other hand, had extended an invitation to the Congress delegates to meet the Commission till 1.00 pm on Tuesday i.e. March 28, 2023.
The ECI in a statement had requested the Congress delegates to join the consultation process with respect to Delimitation and benefit the process by making it inclusive and participatory.
It said that they had already given time to the Indian National Congress (INC) delegation ahead of everyone else at the very beginning in New Delhi on January 4, 2023.
“The INC again requested time from the Commission on March 22, 2023 for a meeting to which the Commission replied stating that since the Commission is already visiting Assam in the coming days, they will meet the INC delegation in Guwahati, Assam on March 27, 2023,” the statement read.
ECI also stated that individual response is not a practice and, in any case, cannot be given in connection to the Delimitation exercise without hearing all the stakeholders.
Meanwhile, responding to the Commission’s invitation – 10 recognised national and state political parties and 76 civil society organisations, public representatives and non-recognised political parties met the Commission in Guwahati on Monday.
Earlier in the day, the Congress Legislature Party and APCC jointly held a press conference where Bhupen Borah said that they will not attend all-party meeting with the election commission who arrived in Guwahati on Sunday on a three-day tour to inspect the ground reality and expectations of stakeholders, and the general public on the ongoing delimitation exercise in the state of Assam.
Borah said, “On March 4, I met the Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar in Delhi and submitted a memorandum. The Chief Electoral Officer said they will send respond in writing. Following the meeting, we gave several reminders in connection with the memorandum but they did not respond till now.”
Borah added, “We are not against delimitation exercise, but there are flaws in it and we are opposing those flaws.”
“We will not meet the election commission until and unless they don’t respond to our memorandum,” he said.
“Even if we receive a response after the press conference, we will take a decision,” he added further.