SRINAGAR, Aug 12: Hundreds of Youth Congress activists blocked traffic on the Srinagar-Kupwara road at Kupwara while demanding implementation of 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act. The protesters handed over a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner, Kupwara, Sarmad Hafeez.
As part of the state wide protest demanding implementation of 73rd and 74th Amendments, the youth Congress activists led by Pradesh Youth Congress President, Shahnawaz Chaudhary resolved to carry out the protest unless the State Government does not implement the Amendments to the State Panchayati Raj Act. Some of the Panchs and Sarpanchs of the Kupwara district also took part in the protest.
Addressing the protesters, Shahnawaz Chaudhary said that the youth of the State have decided to fight it out ensuring that the Amendments are made to the State Panchayati Raj Act. Shahnawaz asked the State Government to carry out the amendments at the earliest, otherwise the protest programme would assume the form of a full-fledged agitation across the State.
“Time is ripe for the implementation of the Amendments to the State Panchayati Raj Act. Once the Amendments are made then the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act would become quite similar to the Central Panchayati Raj Act. As on date the State Panchayati Raj Act is nothing but a puppet in the hands of the MLAs. There are no powers to the Panchs and Sarpanchs and they cannot make any decision,” said Shahnawaz.
He said that there was no fun to hold the Panchayat elections in the State if the Government is not serious in incorporating the amendments to the State Panchayati Raj Act. He said that holding of Panchayat elections in the absence of the Amendments is nothing but gimmick. He opined that State Government is deliberately delaying the process since the powers of MLAs would be reduced.
Shahnawaz urged Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to step in and ensure that necessary amendments are made to the State Panchayati Raj Act.
Besides Shahnawaz the rally was also addressed by Imtiyaz Parray, Ajaz Mehar, Fairoz Khan and Rafiq Wani.