NPP activists stage protest demonstration

Excelsior Correspondent

NPP leaders & activists staging protest dharna in Jammu on Sunday. —Excelsior/Rakesh
NPP leaders & activists staging protest dharna in Jammu on Sunday. —Excelsior/Rakesh

JAMMU, Nov 1: The Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party leaders and activists staged protest demonstration against the Coalition Government for its failure to hold Local Bodies elections in time, at Exhibition Ground here today.
Condemning the repeated postponements of the Urban Local Bodies elections in J&K during the last few years, NPP leader and former Minister Harshdev Singh regretted that the State has been deprived of thousands of crores of rupees for development of Municipal areas which has been withheld by the Central Govt due to the failure of the State to constitute the elected municipal bodies.
He said that the Chief Minister’s recent statement that the elections to rural local bodies would be held from April onwards to be followed by urban local bodies elections amply conveyed that the Govt didn’t intend to hold Municipal elections during the current financial year. He said that non holding of ULB elections during 2015-16 would further deprive the State of hundreds of crores for development of such Municipal bodies which comprised 74 Municipal Committees, 6 Municipal Councils and 2 Municipal Corporations.
Hailing the recent decision of the 14th Finance Commission to enhance the funding for local bodies in the State, Mr Singh pointed out that the said Commission had proposed Rs 4161 crore for the State which included Rs 3117.36 crore for Rural Local Bodies and Rs 1044.51 crore for Urban Local Bodies with a precondition that funds would be released only if elected local bodies were constituted as a measure of democratic decentralization. He said 14th FC had provided a grant of Rs 125.30 crore in the first instance for 2015-16 which however, could be availed only if the elected Municipal bodies were in place during the current year.
Expressing serious concern over frequent postponements of elections, Yash Pal Kundal appealed to the State Governor to intervene so as to check further violations of legal provisions and to further ensure that the people were not deprived of their genuine democratic rights and aspirations.
Prominent among those who led the protest included Bansi Lal Sharma, S Paramjit Singh Marshall, Jagdev Singh, Sham Ghorka, Gagan Pratap Singh, Vilakshan Singh and Rajesh Gondi.


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