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Hold polls under Panchayat Election Commission: Monga

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Feb 13: Urging the State Government to hold  Panchayat polls under Panchayat Election Commission only,  Pradesh Congress Committee vice president and MLC Ghulam Nabi Monga today expressed concern over the safety and security of  Panchayat members.
In a press statement here Monga said, “Why did PDP Government had to resort to issuance of ordinance by Governor to hold Panchayat polls through State Chief Electoral Officer to conduct the Panchayat elections when there is Panchayat Election Commission under Panchayat Act.”
“The decision to hold Panchayat elections through CEO is a wrong. The Panchayat polls should have been held under Panchayat Election Commission which is in the Panchayat Raj Act. But the Government according to its own wishes has decided to hold the Panchayat polls through CEO,” he said.
Questioning the PDP-led Government’s decision of creating new Panch wards according to their own choice and will, he said, ” The delimitation of Panchayats can be done by the Panchayat Election Commission only. But, the PDP-Government is doing it according to its own convenience.”
“The basic concept of Panchayat Raj is getting destroyed because of present government’s decisions,” the Congress MLC rued.
He said the  new Panch wards are being created and changed on the directions of PDP workers. The common man is being ignored which will have negative impact on the institution of Panchayat. The way the PDP Government is handling the issue, it will destroy the basic concept of Panchayat Raj.”
Monga, who was elected to the Upper House on Panchayat quota, said the amendment done to the Panchayat Raj Act by the incumbent Government was murder of democracy at the grass-roots level. “Not only will it make way for horse-trading but it will also dilute power of Panchayats. The powers of these institutions have been diluted and this amendment will further weaken them,” he said, adding the direct elections hold Sarpanches accountable to people.

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