JAMMU, Apr 24: Describing as misleading the observation made by Minister for Rural Development, Panchayats and Law, Ali Mohammed Sagar that 73rd, 74th Amendments of Indian Constitution were not applicable to the State because of Article-370, the BJP State chief spokesperson Dr Jitendra Singh said that the minister ought to know that notwithstanding Article-370, these amendments are extendable to State of Jammu and Kashmir much in the same way as around 200 provisions of Indian Constitution are already applicable here.
Talking to reporters here today along with party general secretary, Sat Sharma (CA) and press secretary, Balbir Ram, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the only requirement is that it has to be adopted by the State Legislature and incidentally barring National Conference, all other parties are in its favour. While the Congress has these amendments in its manifesto, the PDP has also supported such empowerment of local bodies, he reminded.
The spirit of these amendments is that every local body should be able to function with same independence as a State Assembly, he explained and added that after 73rd and 74th amendments all the Central grants come directly to the elected representatives in Panchayats and Municipal Bodies with no interference from council of ministers and the audit of these funds is to be done by a committee appointed directly by the Governor of the State.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that while Article-243-ZD provides for creations of district level planning committees, Article-243-ZE provides that for metropolitan areas.
He said by opposing 73rd and 74th amendments, the ruling party had exposed itself to accusation that it wanted to leave scope open for misappropriation of over 300 crore of Central grant that will be available in the name of local bodies.
Making a strong plea for implementation of 74th amendment before holding Municipal Body Election, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the NC, which was opposing it found nothing wrong in demanding autonomy for itself but was opposed to autonomy for local bodies. He said any political party or leader opposing the 73rd, 74th amendments is in fact opposed to basic democratic values for personal or vested interests.