SRINAGAR, Feb 8: Stating that time wasn’t conducive for holding of Panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir, CPI (M) leader and MLA Kulgam Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami today said that State Government had left people of Kashmir to fend for themselves in harsh Winter.
Addressing a convention of Party leaders and workers at Khanabal in Anantnag he said, “after unrest of 2016, Government should take some Confidence Building Measures (CBMs). It should release all political prisoners, review the cases of those booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) and revoke cases against hundreds of people especially youth. The Government should take into consideration the ground realities before announcing the schedule for the Panchayat polls”, he added.
The CPI (M) leader also said that instead of allowing indirect election of Sarpanchs by Panchs, the Government should empower the Panchyati Raj Institutions. “The way Government has amended the PR Act it is undemocratic. This step will only weaken the Panchayati Raj Institutions in the State. The powers of these institutions have been diluted by successive governments and they never allowed self governance at grass roots level functional,” the MLA Kulgam said. “Panchyati Raj will only flourish when there is elected three-tier system. It consists of Panchayats, block committees and District Development Boards. The chairman of the DDB shouldn’t be nominated but elected by the people as and when the situation for this becomes conducive. Otherwise this whole exercise looks half hearted.”
He also questioned the PDP-BJP Government about its claims regarding “Agenda of Alliance.” “This Government has been speaking huge about ‘AoA’ but the fact remains even the returns of power projects to the State seems a distant dream. Now, if the Government has not succeeded in getting these power projects back to the State, at least they should repair the damaged transformers and transmission lines as people are suffering due to huge shortage of electricity that too at a time when the power supplies are needed more to cope-up with the chilly Winter,” the CPI(M) leader said.
“This has virtually become an annual ritual for the State administration to keep the people of the Valley devoid of basic amenities, especially the power supplies and essential commodities while Durbar functions in the Winter capital. There used to be a symbolic Winter Secretariat in Srinagar and that too has been abandoned by the PDP-BJP Government for the reasons best know to them,” he said.