Empowerment of people aim of PDP: Mufti

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Sept 29: Asserting that empowerment of people through elected institutions was an important aim of his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has urged restraint in the debate over security and empowerment of Panchs and Sarpanchs to help their functioning and well being. Addressing a workers meeting of Noor- abad constituency of Aharbal, Mufti said it was unfortunate that the Government had allowed a golden opportunity for democratization of our polity offered by Panchayat elections to go waste as a result of its inefficiency and political bankruptcy. He said after decades the State had witnessed grass roots political recruitment through seriously contested elections and people had expected the Panchayat institution to deliver at the village level.
“But the Government failed to seize this opportunity and tried to use the elected village representatives as propaganda tool and readymade audience for their political meetings instead of empowering them to carry out development tasks in accordance with the spirit of Panchayat Raj”, he said.
He said that PDP would use its political space, moral authority and legislative strength to amend the state law in order to establish a genuine and effective three tier Panchayat Raj system in the State which would allow the people to run their affairs in accordance with the requirements of their area.
Expressing concern at the degeneration of overall security scenario, Mufti said instead of providing an enabling environment and the required powers for Panchayats to carry out their tasks effectively the State Government was talking in terms of unified command and security forces domination. This he said was a complete reversal of the situation that had been created by the PDP led Coalition Government.
Referring to the announcement of the Government that it would conduct the elections to block councils next month, Mufti said this had to be done within one month of the elections to the Panchayats. But by delaying this process for one and a half years the Government has rendered it useless especially in the present environment of fear among the Panchs and Sarpanchs.
Flaying the Government for bringing the development process to a halt, Mufti said it was the absence of political direction which has resulted in a complete collapse of developmental process. He said the corruption at the top had made everybody in the administration immune to accountability or people’s needs.
“The allegations of corruption at the highest level has made difficult for the leadership to ask questions or enforce discipline with the result that from fixing a tender or securing a job, organizing a transfer or obtaining a certificate everything has a price tag”. He said it was a positive development that people were now assessing the functioning of the present Government in comparison with the PDP led coalition which should guide them in future to make a correct choice of their representatives.

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