Gram Swaraj Bill adopted amid opposition

Amid serious Opposition by the Congress, the Legislative Assembly on Friday adopted the Karnataka Gram Swaraj and Panchayat Raj Bill that, among other provisions, seeks to reduce the tenure of the presidents and vice-presidents of gram, taluk and zilla panchayats to 30 months from the present 60.

The Bill, piloted by Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister K.S. Eshwarappa, also seeks to reduce the grace period given for moving a no-confidence motion against presiding officers of panchayats to 15 months from the present 30 months. The no-confidence motion cannot be moved before the presiding officers have completed 15 months in office.

The provisions of the Bill were opposed by the Congress, particularly Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah and senior member K.R. Ramesh Kumar, who had submitted a report on the functioning of the panchayats when the former was the Chief Minister.

Both the Congress leaders expressed concern that curtailing the tenure of the presiding officers would come in the way of their political growth. This would also affect the reservation provided to them, they argued.

However, Mr. Eshwarappa maintained that the new provisions would bring in vibrancy in the panchayat system and also help more leaders to emerge from the grassroots level. Taking exception to this, the Congress members staged a walkout.

Meanwhile, the Assembly decided to put on hold the Karnataka State Universities and Certain Other Law (Second Amendment Bill) - 2020 that seeks to upgrade several colleges into universities.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2020 11:00:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/gram-swaraj-bill-adopted-amid-opposition/article32699921.ece

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