Amend Panchayati Raj Act to ensure 3-tier system: AJKPC

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Sept 1: All Jammu Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) today urged the Governor Satya Pal Malik to bring necessary amendments in J&K Panchayati Raj Act to ensure three-tier Panchayati Raj system after the conduct of Panchayat elections in the State.

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While welcoming the announcement of Panchayat elections, AJKPC state president Anil Sharma said the decision has encouraged the people across the State and the constitution of new Panchayats will be a harbinger of peace and stability for the people of J&K.
“In his address from Red Fort, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called for empowerments of Panchayats by decentralizing powers at the grassroots level. The Prime Minister had stressed for empowering every Sarpanch and Panch. His message has to be implemented at grassroots level in letter and spirit which is possible only by bringing necessary amendments in the Panchayati Raj Act of the state,” Sharma said in a statement here.
The AJKPC leader said the State administration, headed by Governor, must ensure that the three-tier Panchayati Raj system should be put in place by holding polls to Block Development Councils (BDCs) and District Planning and Development Boards (DPDBs) to strengthen democracy at grass-roots level.
“It should not be a repeat of 2011 Panchayat polls when the promises were made for constitutions of BDCs and DPDBs but no initiative was taken thereafter to make it a reality which had not only disempowered the people but also brought a lot of despair and encouraged corruption. People of the State want complete empowerment which is possible only by bringing necessary amendments before elections to ensure that BDCs and DPDBs are constituted,” Sharma said.
The AJKPC leader also urged the Governor to seriously look into the issue of security threat to ex-Panchayat members and AJKPC leaders in view of volatile situation in Kashmir Valley.
“Our 12 members have already been killed and there is potential threat to others in vulnerable areas. The Governor should seriously look into our request for providing security cover to AJKPC members and other Panchayat members,” Sharma said.