BJP –PDP trying to weaken Panchayati System: Harsh
| 02 Jul 2016
| Vidya Shankar Tiwari, Editor, NOP

New Observer Post
New Delhi, 02 July 2016 Jammu & Kashmir Nationalist People’s Party (JKNPP) has strongly opposed the amendments carried out in the Panchayati Raj Act by the BJP-PDP led coalition Government in the state. Expressing strong disapproval of the said amendments, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh, Chairman, JKNPP and former state Minister today described the move as highly regressive and retrograde.
Terming the move of the ruling coalition as suicidal, he said that the rural populace and Panchayat representations had strongly opposed the proposition which would deprive them of the benefits of democratic decentralization. He said that indirect elections of Sarpanches and election of one Chairman for a cluster of blocks was wholly opposed to the spirit of 73rd amendment besides the concept of local self Govt.
Accusing the incumbent government of trying to sabotage the empowerment of rural folk, Mr. Singh said the newly proposed / incorporated amendments would completely alter the structure of Panchayati Raj as envisaged under the existing Act and would be strongly opposed by the party.
He has started a statewide campaign against the move and addressed various public meetings in Majouri, Chakol and Balota upper of Ramnagar constituency which were followed by protest demonstrations against the State government.
According to Mr. Singh, the previous Govt. had incorporated the provisions of 73rd Amendment of the constitution of India in the State Act after vigorous campaigns launched by the Panchayats and aggressive posturing of the then legislators on the subject. He said that it was a case of the Govt. literally having been held by the collar to accommodate the spirit of 73rd Amendment in State law as the Congress-NC had to succumb to tremendous pressure built up at that point of time.

Mr. Harsh Dev Singh further regretted the neglect of the govt. to constitute a separate Finance Commission as envisaged under law for ensuring financial autonomy to Panchayats. He regretted that the Panchayats were starving due to paucity of funds thus defeating the very purpose of such local self Govts. He called for immediate constitution of a separate Election Commission for Panchayats as per law besides announcing immediate elections to the Panchayats in conformity with the existing law on the subject. He said that JKNPP shall strongly oppose any move to dilute the spirit of 73rd Amendment and sought the implementation of 3-tier Panchayat Raj system with elected Panchayats, elected Block councils and elected District Planning and Development Board with due representation to women, SC and ST’s.

Regarding the local issues of the villages toured by him, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh called for early completion of Parla Chakaal-Sia Merri- Balota road , the construction of which was initiated in 2013. He demanded start of 10+2 classes in HS Rasli Gaderan, upgradation of public park at Gandh Top, early construction of Pachound –Chappar road, replacement and upgradation of electric transformers in Sia Merri, Chakaal, Pachound, Balota upper and Majouri in view of acute power crisis and low voltage problem. He assured the people in public meeting at Chakaal that the issue of non preparation of Adhaar Cards of Chakaal and Sia Merri shall be taken up with the concerned authorities. He further sought the provision of adequate staff in HS Chakaal and HS Sia Merri at the earliest.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Mansa Ram Dhoi Rtd. Tehsildar, Badri Nath Sarpanch, Om Prakash Sarpanch, Balwant Singh Ex-Sarpanch, Tirath Ram Sarpanch, Isher Dass Sarpanch, Joginder Lal Sarpanch besides others.




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