Srinagar, October 08 (Scoop News) – Urging the ruling coalition to rise above petty politics on Panchayat empowerment Senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Beig today said the panic resignations of Panchayat members would rock the boat of entire political process itself if it remained unaddressed.
Initiating a two and half hour discussion on the subject in legislative Assembly today he said the PDP could not allow it self to become a party to the shadow boxing between congress and NC and would instead focuss on institutional empowerment of Panchayats as the gross root level instruments of change and development. He said the govt can pick up any one of the bills that have been submitted to the legislative assembly to bring amendments in states Panchayat Raj Act with out getting into controversy over the 73rd Amendment to constitution of
Beig said the insensitive and unwise handling of Panchayat elections and empowerment had made the village representatives vulnerable to mischief from any source. He said it was neither realistic nor wise to project Panchayat elections as people’s verdict on
Beig said it was futile to talk about 73rd Amendment and relate it to the autonomy of the state. The basic objective of PDP and all right thinking people, he said is to empower the panchayats so that they can carry out the task they have been elected for. The first requirement for this is providing finances for the panchayat institutions, he said.
Beig said the failure of the coalition government to provide any funds in two successive budgets since last year for the purpose is a clear evidence for its malafide intentions. This, he said has resulted in understandable alienation of this new elected class from the community that had voted for them for addressing local developmental issues. He said the election to the block development councils had to be completed in first two months but this government consumed two and half months in just notifying the names of Panches and Sarpanches and has moved to hold BDC elections one and a half year later in an atmosphere full of fear and scare. That he said is a cear index of the non seriousness of the govt, in allowing Panchayats to become part of the democratic system.
Beig said our aim should be to provide a fully elected three tier Panchayat system upto the district level. For this the state legislature could take up any one of the bills that have been submitted “ by me, Mr M Y Tarigami and another one submitted in the legislative council by the PDP.” He said the government was acting with short sightedness by insisting on having a minister as the Chairman of the District Development Board which would defeat the whole purpose of empowerment and convert Panchayat system into another government department. He said if the government is sincere it could bring its own bill on the subject and the PDP would extend full support to it.
Referring to the insinuation about his association with a committee constituted under the Article 72 for determination of powers for the legislators Baig clarified that even though he was offered the Chairmanship of this committee he on the advice of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed declined it. “ Mufti Sahib said that this committee which was constituted last year would send a wong signal about the empowerment of Panchayats and it would look that the legislators were engaging in a turf war with them” he said and added that it was unfortunate that NC spokesman were always using negative language against such a visionary leader.
Referring to the larger concernes about democratization of institutions in the state and the political process Beig said it was an acknowledged fact that the urban population of
Referring to the NC’s autonomy noises in relation to panchayat empowerment, Beig reminded the ruling party of the fall out of 1975 accord that had resulted in near completion of its demolition. He said after Sheikh Saheb took over in February 1975, in July that year he surrendered the right of the state legislature to bring any amendment in the nomenclature of state governor and chief minister. “By making noises about it now the party is only trying to hoodwink people once more which it would find difficult now in view of the raised levels of awareness in the state,” Baig added.