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AJKPC opposes amendments in PRI Act, says Govt disempowering local bodies

All J&K Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) criticized the Government for amending Panchayat Raj Act that will be disempowering for the local bodies. He also expressed resentment against holding of DDC elections.

Addressing media persons here today, Gurdeep Singh Saini, General Secretary AJKPC said that the only objective of the government in bringing the amendment is to avoid the Assembly election and to further make way for outsiders to contest the polls for local bodies in Jammu and Kashmir. BJP led government has failed to fulfill its promise regarding three-tier democracy and failed to properly empower the elected Panchs and Sarpanchs in the UT of J&K, Saini said.

The Union Territory government recently amended the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act to provide for the setting up of a district development council (DDC) in each district, which will have directly-elected members.

Saini claimed that the government proposition had not only evoked cynicism, but also triggered outrage among the existing Municipal Bodies that were being rendered irrelevant.

What was the need to change the basic structure of the Panchayati Raj Institutions in Jammu and Kashmir? He asked.

With the new amendments the government has sought to denigrate and downplay the role and significance of existing Panchayats and BDCs, Saini added.

“It seems that the only objective of the government is to further make way for outsiders to contest elections for Local Bodies in J&K .The doors had already been opened by the government for people from outside the, who had obtained Domicile Certificates and thereby become eligible,” he said.

Saini also resented the introduction of e-tendering in the Rural Development Department (RDD) that will badly impact the developmental works in far flung and rural areas. “The e-tendering process would further halt the progressive and developmental aspect in all village areas,” he said and added that the government is mulling to hand over the governance to the corporate sector.

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