JAMMU, Feb 16: National Conference today vehemently opposed the ongoing arbitrary delimitation of Panchayats and forcefully reiterated its demand for constitution of an empowered Delimitation Commission, headed by a retired High Court Judge to reorganise Panchayats and Wards in Jammu and Kashmir in a time bound, fair and transparent manner.
“The current process being carried out by lower rung officials is sham and mockery of democracy”, a high level National Conference delegation told Governor at Raj Bhavan while presenting a memorandum.
Led by General Secretary Ali Mohammed Sagar, the delegation comprised former ministers besides sitting and former legislators of party-Devender Singh Rana, Nasir Aslam Wani, Mohammed Shaffi Uri, Abdul Rahim Rather, Surjeet Singh Slathia, Ajay Kumar Sadhotra, Mohammed Akbar Lone, Abdul Majid Bhat (Larmi), Altaf Ahmed (Kuloo), Sheikh Ishfaq Ahmed, Th Rachpal Singh, Mushtaq Ahmed Bukhari, Dr Kamal Arora, Sakina Itoo, Abdul Gani Malik, Dr Bashir Ahmed Veeri, Master Noor Hussain, Showkat Hussain Ganai, Rattan Lal Gupta, Th Kashmira Singh, Babu Ram Paul and Sheikh Bashir Ahmed.
The delegation told the Governor that National Conference views with grave concern the process initiated by the Jammu and Kashmir Government with regard to delimitation of Panchayats and their wards across the State through Department of Rural Development and Panchayats.
“Reportedly the exercise is to be completed within seven days, according to a circular, issued by the Government”, the memorandum stated, adding that the delimitation process is being carried out in the most arbitrary manner and is not in consonance with the laid down norms and procedures of the Panchayati Raj Act.
“The hush hush manner in which the delimitation is being through lower rung officials sans the sincerity of the Government, speaks volumes about political consideration behind the move. The Government is delimiting the Panchayats and Wards as per political convenience and suitability of the PDP-BJP dispensation. Normally, the people ought to have been involved in this exercise but the department concerned is finalizing it unilaterally, which is against the democratic spirit”, the memorandum said, adding that the new Panchayats and Wards are reportedly being carved out taking 2011 census as referral point, notwithstanding the fact that the voter lists of 2017 stand notified.
Soliciting the indulgence of the Governor, the delegation said the present dispensation has been demonstrating an anarchical approach towards various vexed political issues which was hugely discernible during the passage of Amendment to the J&K Panchayati Raj Act which sealed the prospect of direct election of Sarpanchs.
The delegation also drew the attention of the Governor towards the issue with regard to Aadhar being made mandatory for distribution or rations at CAPD outlets and said this will deprive a sizable chunk of population of much needed rations as they have not been covered under the scheme.
The delegation also sought the indulgence of the Governor towards dispossessing of farmers from their meager land holdings, measuring a few marlas, which they have been having in their possession for generations with Girdwaris in their favour since last many decades.