Other States

Panthers Party too opposes amendments to Jammu & Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act

After facing criticism from the Valley-based regional parties, Jammu-based J&K National Panthers Party (NPP) also on Monday opposed the recent amendments made to the Panchayati Raj Act in the Union Territory (UT).

Terming the amendments ‘bizarre’, J&KNPP chairman Harsh Dev Singh said, “The modifications and the newly incorporated provisions in the Act would disempower the entire edifice of the existing panchayati raj and municipal structure in J&K”.

He said the matter could have been left to the J&K legislature for discussion, debate and necessary amendments, if needed. “The babus and clerks can’t be a substitute for duly elected legislature, which alone has the powers and prerogative to legislate in matters of public interest,” Mr. Singh said.

He said the elected chairmen of Block Development Councils (BDCs) and presidents of the municipal bodies “have been divested of their right to elect the chairman concerned of the district board”.

“By announcing to create 14 territorial constituencies in each district to elect new members of the newly proposed District Development Council, the government has sought to denigrate and downplay the role and significance of existing panchayats and BDCs,” he said.

He said the latest amendments have only added to the confusion. “It seems that the only objective of the government in bringing the amendment is to avoid Assembly elections and to further make way for outsiders to contest elections for local bodies in J&K .The doors had already been opened by the government for people from Bihar, U.P., Chhattisgarh, M.P. etc., who had obtained domicile certificates and thereby become eligible,” he said.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 5:29:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/panthers-party-too-opposes-amendments-to-jammu-kashmir-panchayati-raj-act/article32894691.ece

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