JAMMU, Nov 20: All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) a representative body of Panchayati Raj Institutions that has been spearheading the campaign for strengthening gross root level democratic institutions here in J&K has strongly reacted to the reported proposal of the Government wherein it has been stated that Planning of the Panchayats and Block Development Councils (BDCs) for next financial year of 2024-25 will shift to the District Development Councils (DDCs) as the term of both existing BDCs and Panchayats would cease to exist in first week of January-2024.
Anil Sharma, president of the AJKPC today while addressing a Press Conference along with other senior members of the organization condemned this proposal of the Government and term it not only against the J&K Panchayati Raj Act but also against the basic principle of decentralization of power, which is basic ingredient of a mature democracy.
Supporting his argument, the AJKPC resident asked the government “How can the government give power and authority of 35000 elected Panchayat members and 310 BDC members to just 20 DDCs, which law, logic would be invoked to do this unjust act”.
Sharma said AJKPC strongly condemns any such move that would reverse the principle of democracy and move towards ‘Centralization of power’ instead of decentralizing it.
Expressing resentment over such proposal wherein DDC would prepare plan for BDC and Panchayats, the Panchayat leader said the term of existing Panchayats would end in January, so the Government should allow the existing Gram Sabhas to prepare their developmental plan for next financial year.
He also suggested that instead of preparing plan for full financial year 2024-25, let the existing Panchayats prepare interim plan and then the next elected PRI members in consultation with the Gram Sabha decide rest of the plan.
“Lawfully under no circumstances, powers and authority of a Gram Sabha can be delegated to DDC or any other authority “, he told media persons.
AJKPC also condemned the role of the J&K Election Commission that has gone in hibernation and not mincing any word for conducting the elections of the local bodies as the term of existing PRIs are about to end soon. It urged the elected DDC members not to play in the hands of `Babus’ and not cross the legal framework and respect separation of power as enshrined in the PR Act and Constitution.
Besides, Anil Sharma other AJKPC functionaries-Ram Saroop Sharma, Ravinder Singh, Vijay Kumar and Avtar Singh also spoke on the occasion.