Other States

DDC members call off protest after L-G agrees to meet them

J&K Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Manoj Sinha reached out to protesting chairpersons and members of the District Development Council (DDC) on Wednesday, as the J&K Apni Party and the Congress accused the bureaucrats of “downgrading” the status of these elected members.

According to protesting DDC members, they have decided to call off their protest after the L-G offered to meet them later this week.

“We have received a message from the Lt. Governor, who is presently out of station, that he is coming back on March 12 for a meeting to address our genuine demands,” BJP leader and DDC chairperson Bharat Bushan said in Jammu.

The elected DDC members and chairpersons alleged that their official protocol precedence and salary slab were far lower than what was promised.

The protesting DDC members belonged to political parties across the spectrum, including the BJP, the Congress, the CPI(M) and the Peoples’ Conference.

Bureaucracy blamed

Meanwhile, the J&K Apni Party and the Congress accused the bureaucrats in J&K of “downgrading the status of the elected members by fixing lower salary slab and lower order in the protocol ranks”.

“The fixation has exposed the mindset of the bureaucratic set-up, which never wanted democracy to flourish in J&K for its ulterior motives. The humiliating protocol powers and honorarium are in absolute contradiction to what the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister had envisaged for these elected representatives of the people,” Mr. Bukhari said.

He, however, appealed to the political parties “to refrain from politicising this issue, which is a creation of an official fiefdom”.

The Congress described the government’s order as “a betrayal of the elected representatives”.

“The slogan and promises with regard to empowering democratic institutions have once again exposed the mindset of the BJP government. The government must stop undermining the authority of the DDCs and other democratic institutions, in the larger interest of common people,” said Congress president G. A. Mir.

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 9:05:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/ddc-members-call-off-protest-after-l-g-agrees-to-meet-them/article34040362.ece

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