Ganderbal/Srinagar, May 17 (Scoop News) – J&K Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Tuesday reaffirmed his Government’s determination to strengthen the Panchayat Raj system in the State by transferring powers to the elected bodies to the extent possible. He said holding of Panchayat election in the State was an important and significant decision to empower people at grass roots and ensure area specific development.
Interacting with elected Panches and Sarpanches of Ganderbal constituency here after inaugurating 4-day orientation course for newly elected Panchayat members of the constituency, the Chief Minister highlighted the role of Panchayats in socio-economic transformation and all round development.
“We decided to hold Panchayat elections on non-party basis but did not debar the persons affiliated with various political parties to take part in the election”, he said and asked the elected public representatives to devote their fullest attention to the development process and reach out the people without any political or other considerations.
The Chief Minister said that in the 3-tier Panchayat system
the Vice Chairmen of District Development Boards will be elected representatives of Panchayats. “This will enable the Panchayats to be an important part in decision making at the district level”, he added and said that election of women Panches and Sarpanches is yet another significant aspect of Panchayat elections to help give specialized attention to women problems at Panchayat level.
Omar Abdullah said that holding of election to the Panchayats is easy than transferring powers to these grass root democratic institutions. “However, I am keen and determined to transfer the powers to the elected bodies to the extend it is possible”, he asserted.
The Chief Minister said that in order to devolve power from Secretariat and Assembly to the democratic institutions at lower levels, the Panchayat Raj system is a befitting medium. “It will not only help judicious spending of funds but proper monitoring of schemes”, he added underlining the importance of Panchayat Raj system in curbing the corruption.
Trendsetting security barriers, the Chief Minister stepped down from the dais and went straight to the Sarpanches and Panches gathering in the open, mingled with them and patiently heard their views and suggestions about the development measures in the open darbar, he held there.
Panches and Sarpanches presented their viewpoints and expressed faith in the leadership of Omar Abdullah that Panchayat system will flourish and be fully empowered. They congratulated the Chief Minister for holding free and fear Panchayat elections after over a period of 33 years.
Minister for Rural Development, Ali Mohammad Sagar and Advisors to the Chief Minister, Mubarak Gul and Devender Singh Rana were present on the occasion.
Addressing the orientation camp, Minister for Rural Development said that in ‘prosperous villages lies the prosperity’ of the State. He said Panchayat institutions would prove an effective tool to translate the dream of Naya Kashmir dreamt by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah into reality.
Ali Mohammad Sagar asked the Panches and Sarpanches to make justice benchmark of the functioning of Panchayats and render their responsibilities to the best expectations of the people who have voted them to power.
Advisor to the Chief Minister, Mubarak Gul in his speech said that holding of Panchayat election in the State after over three decades is yet another feather in the cap of Omar-led dispensation. He said empowerment of people at grass root levels is the determination of the Chief Minister and Government would take necessary measures in this direction.
Mubarak Gul asked the elected public representatives to render their service to the people to the best of their ability and expand the net work of holistic development to every village and Panchayat in the State.