Vakil said congress would continue to fight for implementation of 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments in the state.
Addressing a meeting of Panchs, Sarpanchs and party workers at Reban Rafiabad today Vakil said, “Congress is struggling hard to ensure that the local bodies in the state are empowered to ensure the development at the grass root level.”
“It was dream of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to empower Panchayati Raj Institutions by implementing 73rd constitution amendment all over the country. The party is working to fulfill his dream,” he said.
Vakil said empowerment of the basic democratic institutions of Panchayats was necessary for equitable development in all parts of the state. “Congress party is committed for empowerment of Panchayati Raj System on the pattern of 73rd and 74th amendment of the constitution. This will streamline the system of governance for effective delivery of welfare schemes to the people at the grass root level,” he added.
Vakil urged Chief Minister to incorporate 73rd and 74th amendment as soon as possible otherwise Panchayat elections held in the State would become irrelevant. He said that the benefits of Panchayat elections have not trickled to the grassroots level as the State Government has failed to empower Panchayats. The Former Minister said that holding Panchayat elections without the constitution of BDCs is equivalent to holding the Assembly elections without electing the Chief Minister and the other Ministers. He said delay in formation of Block Development Councils is sending a wrong signal to the people more so those who took part in the Panchayat elections. ‘Vakil said more than 85 percent people took part in the elections. The people who voted were of the view that their daily problems would be solved by Panchs and Sarpanchs, but that has not happened so far.
He asked the government to immediately hold the elections to local bodies and municipal committees so that people at grass root level are empowered. The unprecedented delay, he said was causing great unrest amongst people and it is also against the very policies of Congress. The Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said were giving liberal financial assistance to the state and by putting in place the elected local bodies government would be strengthening the democratic institutions and empowering people to spend money according to their needs.
He also expressed concern over the detrioting condition of fruit industry and said the fruit growers are being extended no incentives due to which they were not able to grow and compete with other growers of Himachal Pradesh. The poor marketing policy as well as conventional packaging system being encouraged by the state government was taking its toll on the fruit growers who were in dire need of support from government at this juncture.