Cong established Panchayati Raj system in J&K: Bhalla

Senior Cong leader Raman Bhalla interacting with elected Sarpanches, Panches and party workers at a function in Jammu on Sunday.
Senior Cong leader Raman Bhalla interacting with elected Sarpanches, Panches and party workers at a function in Jammu on Sunday.

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Dec 9: Former Minister and senior Congress leader Raman Bhalla today said that the Congress has offered supreme sacrifices for the honour and dignity of the country and that the party draws its strength from the people.
Addressing elected Sarpanchs and Panchs who are prominent workers of party Bhalla said that he anticipates that they will work to strengthen party at grass- roots with development of their respective areas.  Congress not only gave Panchayati Raj Act to State, but also provided decentralized administration by creating District Development Boards in each District Headquarter of the State.
Bhalla said it is because of these historic measures, J&K over the last seven decades, has been transformed from impoverished sefdom to a truly welfare State, wherein basic amenities and equal opportunities are available for all without any discrimination whatsoever. Had blunders not been made by previous BJP-PDP Govt in shape of political intrigues and cheating, things would not have been what they are today, Bhalla added.
Holding BJP and PDP Government responsible for all miseries in Jammu and Kashmir, Bhalla accused previous State Government responsible of weakening democratic institutions in the State due to which the people have lost interest in such institutions. Bhalla  accused  both BJP-PDP of demolishing peace of the State by exploiting the regional, religious and political sentiments of the people . However, both these parties took complete U-turn after taking over the power due to which the people of the state have completely lost their faith in democratic exercise and institutions.
Bhalla said while in opposition both BJP and PDP were advocating for the empowerment of PRIs in the State, surprisingly both coalition partners in order to gain political mileage undermined the authority of PRIs, which is highly condemnable. Stating that the Congress launched a struggle in this regard, Bhalla said that it is ultimately the State Panchayat Raj laws were amended by previous NC-Congress Govt to incorporate the provisions of 73rd amendment which was passed in the state legislature and it received the assent of the Governor and published in Govt gazette on March 14. He described previous PDP-BJP dispensation as anti-poor and anti- development and said that the insensitive coalition Government pushed people to the wall.