Khap panchayats are “useful instruments” of society and carry out social reforms and one or two mistakes don’t make them wrong as a whole, according to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
Khap panchayats have a strength of their own, he stressed, adding that there's no proposal to ban them.
“They are not formed by the government. These khap panchayats are there for the last 800 years. These panchayats have been made by the people of those areas only. They have carried out various social reforms such as fighting against dowry system, they worked for Beti Bachao Beti Padhao and gender ratio,” Mr. Khattar told PTI in Kolkata.
“I rather feel it is a useful instrument of society. It is not as if they indulge in something, which is wrong. Khap is a big panchayat,” he said.
On various controversies that have cropped up over khap panchayats’ diktats, Mr. Khattar said, “One or two mistakes or incidents don’t make khap panchayats wrong as a whole. Even human beings and institutions commit mistakes. Khap panchayats have a strength of their own.”
Commenting on the issue of cow slaughter and consumption of beef, the Haryana Chief Minister said, “In our state we have banned cow slaughter and we had the support of Muslims MLAs also. The bill was passed unanimously in the State Assembly.”
The Haryana Assembly in 2015 had passed the Gau Sanrakshan Avm Gau Samwardhan Bill 2015, which provides for a complete ban on cow slaughter in the State.
When asked whether cow slaughter should be banned in States like West Bengal, Mr. Khattar said, “I don’t want to comment on it. In our place no one takes cow slaughter positively.”
Turning to the law passed by the Haryana government laying down some qualifications for contesting panchayat elections as a part of its initiative to check corruption at grass roots level, he said, “The response has been tremendous. A new leadership has come up and corruption was eliminated.”
Asked whether he wants the Centre to pass similar laws for contesting elections in state Assemblies and Parliament, Mr. Khattar said, “I would support it if such an initiative is taken but, it is in the hands of the Centre to decide.”
Mr. Khattar, who was here in connection with holding a roadshow in the run up to the “Happening Haryana — Global Investors Summit 2016” at Gurgaon in March 2016, said the aim of inviting the industrialists of Kolkata was to give them the opportunity to expand their base in Haryana.