Govt. move to put off GP polls and appoint administrators draws flak

The Grama Panchayat Hakkottaya Andolana has taken serious exception to the State government’s move to put off elections to village panchayats and instead appoint administrators or administrative committee after the completion of their term.

The government recommended to the State Election Commission to put off the elections citing COVID-19.

In a release on Thursday, andolana convenor Damodara Acharya alleged that there appeared to be an urgency to appoint an administrator or committee without critical deliberations or consultations about its pros and cons. “Does this not raise doubts whether the move intends to protect vested interests of certain individuals or is it linked to party politics of those in power?” he wondered.

He asked why it is not possible for the government to conduct elections to village panchayats when it was possible to reopen factories in villages, besides providing essential services.

Terming this as endangering democracy, Mr. Acharya said the administrators or administrative committees were likely to function favourably to those who appoint them, instead of being accountable to the citizens they are meant to serve.

During the COVID-19 crisis, hundreds of panchayats collaborated with local organisations and donors to respond to the trials and tribulations of their citizens, he pointed out. “In such a challenging situation, does replacement of these ‘corona warriors’ with an administrator or committee not appear to be a tactic to centralise governance,” he wondered.

Pointing out that those who are likely to be appointed as administrators are presently under work pressure, he remarked: “Are they not likely to be unable to respond to the real and pressing needs of people and cause further deterioration of the already precarious situation?”

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 10:59:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/govt-move-to-put-off-gp-polls-and-appoint-administrators-draws-flak/article31594739.ece

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