Jammu Tawi, April 30
Former minister and senior Congress leader Raman Bhalla today said that government is shying away from its duty to conduct urban local body and Panchayat elections. Formation of ULBs are must to empower the people of urban areas”, he said and added that in a democratic system it was necessary to make representative character of all democratic institutions to ensure people’s participation in these institutions. He was speaking while addressing public gathering in continuance with his mass contact programme by visiting door to door to listen to grievances of people of area at Block Satwari (14) Gandhi Nagar. The programme was organized by Block president and ex-Sarpanch Amrit Bali.
Speaking on the occasion, Bhalla said that the Centre has blocked grants worth crores for urban development because the State Government has failed to constitute duly elected local bodies. “Priority of this regime is not to empower people by strengthening democratic institutions but those at the helm of the affairs want to accomplish their nefarious designs by controlling such institutions through undemocratic means”, he observed and cautioned that such attitude of the ruling party would be proved disastrous for the State. “With its assiduous efforts Congress had restored faith of the people in democracy and democratic institutions but this regime during last two years has again shattered people’s faith”, he maintained. He called upon party cadre to prepare for Panchayat elections and lambasted the government for playing with the real spirit of 73rd amendment and local self-government concept. Terming the promises made by PDP-BJP government as “mere bluffs”, Bhalla said that voters are fed up with the “sheer opportunism” of these two parties.Both the parties took the extreme positions on most of the emotional issues and exploited their respective constituencies to the hilt, with a false and deceptive promise to keep each other out of power, if voted in strength. The people could not see through their tactical game plan and gave BJP an unprecedented strength in Jammu while PDP gained on these slogans in Kashmir.
Others who were present on the occasion included District Urban president Anil Chopra, R K Khajuria, BB Gupta, Sunil Slathia, Vishal Singh Chadak, Avtar Singh Shanty, Rakesh Singh, Gurbachan Kour, Advocate Roshan Lal and others.