Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh unit of Congress today held a sit-in outside Raj Bhawan to protest against a controversial bill on the J&K Panchayat Raj Act allowing indirect election of Sarpanches by Panches, accusing the PDP-BJP government of weakening grassroot democracy.
JKPCC demanded Governor N N Vohra not to give his assent to the Panchayat Amendment Bill, 2016 which was passed by the state legislature, despite strong opposition by Congress and other opposition parties. Senior Leaders of Pradesh Congress, Sarpanches, Panches, District Congress Committees assembled outside the Raj Bhawan and held the sit-in before submitting a memorandum.
Addressing the gathering, JKPCC Chief accused the PDP-BJP coalition government of weakening the Panchayat Raj system and said the bill is aimed at “eroding” the grassroots institution of democracy in the state. He announced that Congress would launch a movement in the state against this move and educate the masses against the “anti-democratic and anti-people” polices of the ruling coalition.
PCC Vice-President Sham Lal Sharma said PDP talked of self-rule and questioned if this is the definition of self-rule slogan to divest people of their power to elect people of their choice. “BJP has surrendered for power on various issues and this move would weaken democracy in the state, he alleged.
He took a dig at Union MoS PMO Jatinder Singh for questioning Congress instead of explaining the role of his own party (BJP) in the government, for bringing controversial and anti-democratic and anti-people bills and issues, which “harm” the broader interests of the people and the state.