Monga welcomes SAC decision to restore direct election of Sarpanchs

Srinagar, Jul 13: While welcome the Governor N N Vohra headed State Administrative Council’s (SAC) decision to reverse the previous PDP-BJP government’s controversial decision of indirect election for Sarpanchs Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) vice president and MLC G N Monga Friday said the concept of Panchayat Raj was getting destroyed because of previous government’s wrong decisions.
In a statement, he said the SAC decision to amend the law to facilitate direct election for the village body heads was the need of the hour and we wholeheartedly welcome it. “Previous PDP-BJP government deliberately made the Panchayats dysfunctional in order to interfere in the developmental works at grass root level to gain political mileage,” the Congress leader said.
Monga, who was elected to the Upper House on Panchayat quota, said the Congress party is committed to strengthen the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) at all levels and it should be implemented only through 73rd Amendment of the Constitution in the State.
“The decision to hold Panchayat elections through CEO was a wrong decision of the previous government. Holding Panchayat polls under Panchayat Election Commission is in the Panchayat Raj Act. The previous PDP-led government also created new panch wards according to their own choice and will. The delimitation of Panchayats can be done by the Panchayat Election Commission only,” he added.
The Congress leader said that the basic concept of Panchayat Raj was getting destroyed because of previous government’s wrong decisions. “The new panch wards were created and changed on the directions of PDP workers. The way the PDP government handled the issue, it would have destroyed the basic concept of Panchayat Raj in the state. However, the decision of Governor to reverse the previous government’s controversial decision is a welcome step which in a long way will restore the credibility of PRIs in the state,” Monga added.
The Congress MLC said they had brought an amendment bill in the Legislative Council to hold the Panchayat polls through three-tier system only and to elect the Sarpanchs through direct elections. However, as the Bill was put on vote, the then PDP-led Government managed to scuttle it. They forced the members not to vote in favour of it, thereby weakening the democracy at the grass roots level.
“We had requested the Governor then also regarding this issue. It is good that Governor has now rectified the wrongs of the previous government, who deliberately made attempts to make the Panchayats dysfunctional,” he added. (KNS)