A seminar held on Wednesday on ‘local bodies-powers-development' underscored the need for sustained agitation for strengthening local bodies and delegation of powers to them.
The Visalandhra Vignana Samithi organised the 'local bodies-powers-development' seminar to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Visalandhra Telugu daily here. The speakers expressed the view that governments had watered down the spirit of 73 and 74 constitutional amendments with their indifferent approach towards local bodies.
No power had been delegated nor the revenue shared. Elections were not being conducted every five years. The local bodies were functioning under special officer rule, which was no less than President's Rule, they said.
However, there was no opposition to it though the people were up in the arms against President's Rule. The State Government had been putting off the municipal elections fearing that it would face the drubbing. The Government's move was against the Constitution and a befitting case to be challenged in the court of law.
As long as the local bodies were strong, the people had fair a chance to nail corruption. An alternative political system would also be developed. The State Assembly or Legislative Council was hardly discussing the issues concerning the public, the speakers said. Former Mayor T. Venkateswara Rao, MLCs K. Nageswar and Jelli Wilson, senior journalist C. Raghavachari, former mandal parishad president Vegineti Gopala Krishamurthy, Visalandhra editorial board chairman Edpuganti Nageswara Rao, governing body member Chalasani Ajay Kumar, Visalandhra Vignana Samithi member and CPI district secretary Akkineni Vanaja, and CPI city secretary Donepudi Sankar spoke.