Jammu, August 12: Kuldeep Kumar Rao President Thathri Development Front, District Doda in a press release issued here has appealed to His Excellency the Governor of the state, Sh. Satya Pal Malik to conduct the elections of Block Development Councils only after amendment in the latest amended state Panchayat Raj Act up to March 2016, rule 28 for the election of BDC chairperson, by the Congress & NC government, on the analogy of other states of the country. Rao urged upon the Governor to amend the Panchayati Raj Act, in such a manner that any person or woman may file his/her nomination for the office of Chairperson of BDC, whose name is entered in any Panchayat Halqa in that Block as was before amended up to April 2011.
Under the present Panchyati Raj system, the Act amended up to March 2016 for election to BDC, Chairperson, any competent, honest & educated person cannot nominate himself or herself for the office of Chairperson of, Block Development Council unless he or she is a Panch or Sarpanch. This rider needs immediate amendment because the present lots of Panch or Sarpanch have no or little Educational qualification with zero experience of governance. Secondly, at present, about 1043 Panchayats are vacant without Panch or Sarpanch.
Moreover, these elections have unofficially been fought on party basis with due reservation to women belonging to SC / ST category. This clearly mean that government is/was interested to induct those male or Female Panches or Sarpanches who are loyal, faithful and true to the salt of their masters and under these circumstances we are sure to have an assembly of Chairpersons in the District Planning & Development Boards who are either loyal to their Party bosses or to their respective husbands in case of women. Therefore, He strongly feels that under such circumstances an attempt has been made to keep the most talented, experienced, qualified and honest persons out of the game denying democratic rights to the bonafide & genuine candidates. And it will certainly be a cruel joke with democracy & democratic traditions.
Rao has strongly hailed the Former Governor N.N. Vohra for turning tables on erstwhile BJP-PDP by rescinding the amendment of direct election to the office of Sarpanch, under the state Panchayati Raj Act, & has urged upon His-Excellency the present Governor, of the state to amend the Panchayati Raj Act, in such a manner that any person or woman may file his/her nomination for the office of Chairperson of BDC, whose name is entered in any Panchayat Halqa in that Block. This certainly widens the spirit of democracy and not put chains around the neck of democracy.
This needs to be done before announcement of BDC elections so that parrots of all these traditional political parties do not find rooms against such like constitutionally important positions as has happened in the past during Panchayati quota of MLCs, they maintained. Rao further said that the successive state governments have destroyed the basic concept of Panchayati Raj in the state & made it a toothless tiger by making so many amendments by misusing of the Art. 370. Now is the time to prove that whatever steps have been taken by the NDA central Government in the interest of the people of Jammu, Kashmir & Ladhak and in the interest of national security. The people of the state need to be reassured to the effect that good governance and the rural development of Jammu & Kashmir by the implementation of constitutional amendment no 73 & 74 to empower the Panchyati Raj Institutions in the interest of the poor people of Jammu & Kashmir, so as to restore the shattered faith of people in the toothless institutions already existing in the state.