Staff Correspondent

Bidar: The Congress has criticised the State Government’s plans to introduce changes in the Panchayati Raj (PR) Act, saying it was an attempt to curtail the powers of local bodies.

In a press release, the party leaders said this move was anti-people. Decentralisation was the surest method of empowering the people. What the Janata Dal (Secular)-BJP Government was doing now was to centralise administration.

It would only empower MLAs and strip the local bodies of their legitimate powers. This was a retrograde step and a direct assault on the will of the people.

This was anti-constitutional and amounted to cheating the people, the leaders said in the release.

Congress members in the gram, taluk and zilla panchayats will lay a siege to the zilla panchayat office in Bidar on Thursday in protest against the Government’s moves.

Zilla panchayat members Amrit Chimkod, Shivraj Hassankar and D.K. Sidram warned of a district-wide agitation if the Government did not drop its plans.