Panch Body Opposes Elections to Panchayats sans Amend in the Act



All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference, a body of Panchs and Sarpanchs Sunday categorically rejected the move of the State government to hold elections of the Panchayat without making “necessary amendments” in the J & K Panchayati Raj Act.

In its reaction to official announcement that governor NN Vohra has asked the state administrative machinery headed by Chief Secretary and State Chief Electoral Officer to gear up for holding Panchayat elections somewhere in between the month of April this year, the Panchayat representatives’ body has objected to it and called it as “unacceptable”.

Anil Sharma, President of the organization in a statement said, “We Panchayat members appreciate the vision of Governor NN Vohra for up keeping the process of democratization and decentralization of powers at grass root level but can’t accept any elections without making necessary amendments in the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act.”

“Everyone (be it popular government or honourable governor) is aware that 33,000 Panchayat members in the state have been struggling for last half decade for implementation of 73rd amendment of Indian constitution here in the state act and nothing short of that is acceptable to them,” he said.

The Panchayat leader said that before finalising anything related to Panchayati Raj Institutions, the Raj Bhavan must take the incumbent Panchayat members and their organization into confidence.

“We have highest regards and respect for the office of honourable governor but we shall not compromise on the question of seeking constitutional status for over 4000 Panchayats across the state,” Anil stated.

The body also urged the governor to either postpone the decision of holding local bodies elections in the state till a popular government is formed or bring an ordinance to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act; Ordinance is the only way to amend the law under present circumstances since the State assembly is in suspended animation.

He also reminded the “sacrifices” made by over a dozen Panchs and Sarpanchs (Since 2011) in Valley “who had not bowed before the cowardice attacks by the terror outfits on them and who did not resigned from their posts but continued strengthening the democracy in Jammu and Kashmir and ultimately even gave up their lives and cautioned that holding Urban and Rural Local bodies elections should not be just to get central funds which are otherwise denied to state”.


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