Staff Reporter

They seek to participate in district and taluk development council meetings

BANGALORE: It took a high decibel argument and the Opposition members' dharna in the well of the House before Panchayat Raj Minister C.M. Udasi agreed to consider a suitable amendment to the Panchayat Raj Act enabling the participation of MLCs elected from local authorities in the district and taluk development council meetings.

Raising the matter in the Legislative Council on Wednesday, Pratapchandra Shetty (Congress) said since there was no provision in the Panchayat Raj Act, MLCs elected from local authorities (there are 25 members in the House under this category) were unable to contribute productively and participate in governance on their own turf.

At present, only MLAs and Lok Sabha members of the district and taluk were invited to the meetings.

In a written statement, Mr. Udasi said as per the Act, only those Rajya Sabha members and MLCs who are registered as voters in the district and taluk were invited to zilla panchayat and taluk panchayat development meetings.

Mr. Udasi also pointed out that inviting these MLCs could upset the quorum and voting process when meetings were called for such purposes.

At this, Congress members rose in protest, saying they didn't need to have the rules read to them, and demanded a reply from the Minister that would seem to be inclusive rather than exclude MLCs from participating in the development of their own areas.

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