MLC & Vice President Ghulam Nabi Monga and MLC Shamlal Bhagat castigated the Govt for preparing to bring about total change in the pattern of election to the panchayats especially that of Sarpanchs. The Sarpanch is directly elected by the population of the Panchayat under the existing law. The proposed law has provided for indirect election of Sarpanch by the Panchs in the Panchayat, they said.In a joint Statement issued to KNS, they accused the Coalition Govt for attempting to manipulate the elections to the Panchayat Raj bodies especially that of Sarpanchs, by the present Govt is very unfortunate. This is step in reverse direction to dilute the authority of elected sarpanchs, which clearly establishes the intention of the present Govt. to dilute the authority of grass institution of democracy.They said, while in opposition both BJP and PDP were advocating for the empowerment of PRIs in the state. Surprisingly now the PDP in order to gain political mileage is undermining the authority of PRIs, which is highly condemnableStating that the Congress launched a struggle in this regard both the leaders said that it is ultimately the State Panchayat Raj laws were amended by previous NC-Congress Govt. to incorporate the provisions of 73rd amendment which was passed in the state legislature and it received the assent of the Governor and published in Govt. gazette on 14th March 2014.
Now the elections to the Panchayats had to be held as per amended law of 2014, which is as per 73rd amendment, which provided for 33% reservation to women and SC/STs right from Panch level, Sarpanch level, Block level and District Boards.The amended law also provided for independent election commission for holding Panchayat elections. But the Govt. has not appointed an independent election commission and finance commission as per the existing law. Rather the Govt. has empowered the chief electoral officer go ahead with these election, which is contrary to the 73rd amendment as incorporated in the state law.They said that the Govt. also plans to change the representation of Blocks in the District Boards. As per existing law, the elected head of Block Council would be member of District Board and all members of District Development Board would elect Chairperson of the DDB, from amongst themselves. Now the Govt. wants to dilute this and proposes to merge more than one Block to have a single member from the merged Blocks treating it as one BDC unit.The previous Govt. had created more CD blocks keeping in view the topography, terrain and distance etc but now each Block will not have representation in the DDB if the bill is passed, and it would be arbitrary exercise of the Govt. The Congress vehemently opposes this move of the Govt. and ask the Govt. withdraw it, otherwise the Congress would oppose it tooth and nail both inside the legislature and outside, they said. (KNS)