SRINAGAR, June 8: Expressing concern at the increasing instances of target killings in different parts of the Valley, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today said the vulnerability of the Panchayat members had its roots in Government’s reluctance to establish a proper three tier system prevalent in rest of the country.
Addressing the members of party’s Budgam district committee here today, he strongly condemned attacks on the members of the elected village institutions and some other innocent victims and called for a halt on such mindless violence.
Mufti said the Government had failed to build upon the opportunity provided by people of the State through their massive participation in last year’s Panchayat elections with the result that both the people and their elected representatives had got disillusioned with the exercise.
“The state of drift had led to chaos in the villages regarding developmental programs and the panchayat members were becoming sitting ducks for the enemies of peace,” he said, adding “more than one year down the line we should have had Panchayat system established at the block and district levels but the Government was busy in its petty scheming to subvert the system”.
He said it seemed the only objective of the Government was the election of four members to the Legislative Council to be elected by Panchayats and not a genuine empowerment of people at the grass root level.
Mufti said the involvement of community in their affairs at the village level would have worked as the best security for Panchayat members if they had seen these institutions working for their interests. But the pettiness of the Government in handling this important issue of empowerment has reduced the entire exercise to a farce and instead of generating success stories only negative reports of political fraud by ruling parties are emanating in absence of proper direction to these fledgling institutions.
“The Government must rise above petty political considerations and try to stem the disillusionment among people which could breed cynicism and further alienation,” he said.
He added that the failure of the Government to conduct elections to the Urban Local Bodies even after two and a half year after they were due was fraught with similar dangers as these institutions are now used only to promote backdoor appointments in thousands and unchecked constructions.