Staff Correspondent

‘It will help strengthen PR system’

Madikeri: Members of the Federation of Elected Women (FEDEW) in gram panchayats of Kodagu under the banner of “Sugrama Gram Panchayat Mahila Okkuta” on Wednesday urged the State Government to accord 50 per cent reservation to women in the 2010 panchayat elections.

Addressing presspersons here, Asha Poonacha, president of the Kodagu unit of the okkuta, said that of the 28 lakh elected representatives in the State, only 36.87 per cent were women. Providing for 50 per cent reservation would help women involve actively in public life. Such a system would also help strengthen the panchayat raj system in the State, Ms. Poonacha said.

Uttaranchal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh had made way for 50 per cent reservation to women in the panchayats, she said.

Rajasthan and Kerala too had promised to provide 50 per cent reservation to women in the 2010 elections. Karnataka should follow these States. Increased representation to women would result in empowering them politically, she said.

Members from Virajpet and Somwarpet taluks said the term of presidents and vice-presidents of panchayats should be five years. Sharing the 60-month tenure would not help usher in development, Sujata, member from Virajpet taluk, said.

Reservation of posts of president and vice-president should be for 10 years instead of five years. This would help in taking up development projects without any interruption and make the elected representatives accountable for their omissions and commissions, Ms. Sujata said.

A memorandum in this regard had been submitted to President Pratibha Patil, she added.