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Devolve powers to local bodies or face stir: CPI

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ON THE WARPATH: A rally being taken out by CPI in Vijayawada on Tuesday demanding release of pending grants and dues to the municipal corporation. Photo: Raju V.
ON THE WARPATH: A rally being taken out by CPI in Vijayawada on Tuesday demanding release of pending grants and dues to the municipal corporation. Photo: Raju V.

Staff Reporter

Release of dues, grants to VMC demanded

VIJAYAWADA: CPI State secretary K. Narayana on Tuesday cautioned the State Government of an impending agitation by his party for devolution of funds and powers to local bodies if the Government did not "mend its ways."

Mr. Narayana was addressing a public meeting at the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation office here, after leading an impressive rally that started at Tummalapallivari Kshetrayya Kalakshetram and wound through many areas of One Town. The rally was organised to exert pressure on the State Government to release all pending grants and dues to the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation.

`Proxy rule'

While recalling the Congress' pre-poll promise of devolving all funds and functions to the local bodies once it was voted to power, Mr. Narayana said it was unfortunate that the Congress had gone back on this assurance and was now following in the footsteps of the previous TDP regime in resorting to "proxy rule" through commissioners. The State Government had been flouting the 74th Constitutional amendment as well as the Supreme Court's ruling given later, he observed.

Mr. Narayana held that giving more powers to commissioners, who did not know anything about the city, while ignoring elected representatives ran contrary to the spirit of the 74th Constitutional amendment.

The commissioner had not been obeying the resolutions passed by the general body of the VMC, and even brought disrepute to the city by getting reprimanded by the High Court in a case of contempt of court, the CPI leader said.

World Bank agenda

Mr. Narayana also charged the Congress Government with trying to implement the World Bank's agenda in the urban areas, and said his party would not remain a silent spectator if the Government pushed through these "dangerous reforms."

Former Mayor T. Venkateswara Rao wondered why the Government did not bother to meet the elected representatives of local bodies even once, when it had been convening frequent meetings with officials.

CPI State committee member K. Subba Raju, Mayor Tadi Sakuntala, Vijayawada West MLA Sk. Nasar Vali and others spoke.


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