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Union Minister’s ultimatum to State

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Power centre: Union Minister for Panchayat Raj Mani Shankar Aiyar greeting women sarpanches at a training camp held at Nandigama in Krishna district on Saturday.
Power centre: Union Minister for Panchayat Raj Mani Shankar Aiyar greeting women sarpanches at a training camp held at Nandigama in Krishna district on Saturday.

Staff Reporter

Give powers to PR bodies or fail, warns Mani Shankar Aiyar

NANDIGAMA: Union Panchayat Raj Mani Shankar Aiyar on Saturday set a deadline for the State Government to give powers to the panchayat raj bodies by Gandhi Jayanti in accordance with an agreement which he signed with Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy in April, 2006.

“If you cannot do this by Gandhi Jayanti, at least ensure by the birthday of Jawaharlal Nehru which falls on November 14. You have come to an edge now. Do it or fail,” Mr. Aiyar told Panchayat Raj Minister J.C. Diwakar Reddy at a training camp organised for sarpanches in Krishna district here.

Mr. Aiyar sought to reassure elected representatives of panchayat raj bodies, saying that he had spoken to the Chief Minister about devolution of powers and there was a positive reply from him.

No honorarium

Mr. Diwakar Reddy took sarpanches by surprise when he asked whether they really needed an honorarium of Rs. 2,000 per month even after considering the notion that each of them would have spent Rs. 20 lakh to get elected. Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal, Municipal Administration Minister Koneru Ranga Rao, MLA Samineni Udaya Bhanu and others were present.

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