JAMMU, Feb 4: Pradesh Congress Committee vice president and former minister Sham Lal Sharma has alleged that BJP has back-stabbed the people of Jammu region for the sake of power.
Addressing a large deputation of former Sarpanchs and Panchs here today, the PCC leader said that BJP leadership in the State has betrayed the people of Jammu. They have back tracked on all the promises made with the people of Jammu during elections. They have virtually back-stabbed the people of Jammu who had pinned high hopes on them.
Mr Sharma expressed his surprise that State Election Commission issued a communication on Feb 2, 2017 to Directors Rural Development both Jammu and Kashmir regarding conduct of Panchayat elections and preparation of electoral rolls. In the said letter it has also been directed to the above directors to increase the number of wards.
Congress leader said that increase in the number of wards in Panchayat Halqas amounts indirect delimitation of Halqas and there is no such provision in the Act. He further added that if this exercise is undertaken, it will amount to delimitation of Panchayat Halqas and same requires a full-fledged Delimitation as envisaged in the Panchayat Act. In the above communication for reservation of Panch/Sarpanch constituencies for SC/ST and women, this process is to be completed by Feb 10, 2017.
Sham said that there are about 36000 constituencies in Halqa Panchayats in the State and to increase number of wards in each Panchayat, it requires refixation of territory of wards with number of Halqa Majlis and carrying out an exercise for reservation. This is beyond anybody’s imagination to accomplish this task within 7 days. This creates doubt amongst the locals for having Panchayat elections in fair and transparent manner.
He further said that NC-Congress coalition has amended J&K Panchayat Raj Act and it was enjoined in the said act that the superintendence direction and control for preparation of electoral rolls and conduct of elections under this act shall vest in an election Authority known as State Election Commission. This amendment was made to ensure transparency and fairness in conduct of these elections. Sham impressed upon Chief Electoral Officer J&K that since powers of Election Commissioner has been vested in him, it was his prime duty to have given much wider publicity for increasing number of wards in Panchayat Halqas.