Panchayat polls should be held under PEC only: Monga

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Dec 29: While welcoming the Government’s decision to hold Panchayat elections from February 15, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) vice president and MLC GN Monga today said the Panchayat polls should be held under Panchayat Election Commission (PEC) only.
In a statement issued here, he said, “The past experiences show that this Government had several times announced the dates for holding the Panchayat elections, but later on one or other pretext postpone these. If the Government is sincere this time, it should announce the dates for holding three tier Panchayat polls in the Assembly.”
“The Panchayati Raj should be implemented only through 73rd Amendment of the Constitution in the State. The Panchayat polls should be held under Panchayat Election Commission which is in the Panchayati Raj Act,” the Congress leader said.
Stating that Panchayati Raj plays an important role at grass-root level democracy, Monga, who represents Panchayats in Legislative Council, said, “This Government deliberately made the Panchayats dysfunctional in order to interfere in the developmental works at grass root level to gain political mileage in the past.” He said that Panchayats should be allowed to function independently, without any kind of interference from the Government or any autonomous body in the State.
He also batted for direct election of sarpanches and not through Panches as this Government has provided an opportunity for horse trading by electing Sarpanch through Panches. “The election for Panchayat halqa should be held directly through three-tier system,” the Congress leader said.
He also asked the Government to ensure the safety and security of Panchayat members before deciding the final dates for the polls. Monga said Congress party is committed to strengthen the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) at all levels and it will not allow the PDP-BJP alliance to undermine the authority of these institutions for personal political benefits.
He also urged the party workers to work with enthusiasm and reach out to the people for resolution of the problems being faced by them.