JAMMU, Nov 5: Amidst latest development of Governor NN Vohra giving his assent to the controversial Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Ordinance 2017, the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) has reacted sharply and called it back stabbing by the State Government to the democratic institution of Panchayati Raj in the State.
President of the AJKPC, Anil Sharma in a press statement to the media called it ‘deceitful act’ of the PDP-BJP Coalition Government because as per the amendments made in the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj through this Ordinance, the fundamental rights of the people of this State have been snatched where they could elect their Panches and Sarpanches in electioneering process. He said now as per this Ordinance, the people won’t be able to elect their Sarpanches and they would be able to cast their votes only to elect their Ward Panch and the Sarpanches shall be further elected by the Panches.
Sharma said this is ‘unacceptable’, India is the largest democracy in the world but instead of further decentralising the powers to the people, the present Coalition Government is trying to take away powers from millions of village voters and give it to few hundred Panches which cannot be justified in any way.
Questioning the timing of holding Panchayat elections in the State and expressing displeasure, the AJKPC president said this is not conducive time to hold elections in the State and if the State Government really feels it is appropriate time then first of all they should hold elections for the Anantnag Parliamentary seat which is repeatedly deferred due to unfavourable law and order situation in the State. He warned the Govt to avoid any confrontation to hold these important elections in any haste.
On the question of assassination of over 20 elected Panchayat representatives in the State during last over six years, Sharma said this also shows absolute failure of the Govt in protecting the lives of ground level people who work for ensuing democracy in the State. He said that within few days, AJKPC shall hold meeting with all senior leaders in Kashmir and Jammu and then announce further course of action.