MPEJ raise question on Panchayati Raj

The members of Movement for Peace, Equality and Justice (MPEJ) Kuldeep Kumar Rao and Ram Singh Chauhan, while reacting to news published in a section of press on September 12 in a joint statement issued here have expressed great wonder as to what is happening with Panchyati Raj in the state. On one hand the fate of elections to Panchyats and Urban local bodies is hanging in fire, Block Development Councils (BDC) in the state have not seen the day of light during last 70 years as compared to other states of the country; on the other hand we find laying foundation stone of Block Development Council (BDC) complex at Vijay Pur, District Samba. As of now, we have no Panchyati Raj in the State as the term of Sarpanches has expired in July 2016, he said. “We are not at all opposed to creation of asset but we feel deeply hurt as in the name of Panchyati Raj people are being befooled & misled. Instead of strengthening the PRIs the present Government has made an amendment to the J&K Panchyati Raj Act in which Sarpanches will be elected by the Panches of the Panchyat instead of public in a democratic manner, Chauhan added. Will Panchyati Raj Institution be strengthened or weakened? Will the Sarpanch so chosen be accountable to Pasnches or the public? However, we thank His Excellency, the Governor, who has not given assent to the said piece of legislation, for the time being, he added.
Kumar also said that “We urge upon both Commerce & Industry as also Rural Development Minister to come out whether government is really interested in electing Block Development Council Chairman for every Block of the state and if so, is the government contemplating to construct Block Development Council complex in every Block or it is an exercise in isolation to please a particular constituency.”

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