While the BJP-led Central government has brought in a new law to strengthen local self-governing bodies across the country, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) government is “acting contrary to the constitutional spirit by slashing down the powers of sarpanches”, charged Telangana BJP president and Karimnagar MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar on Tuesday.
In an open letter to village sarpanches, he said that the “BJP is committed to the spirit of the 73rd and 74th amendment acts and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has allotted maximum funds for the cause of local self governance to achieve self reliance as envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi”.
“The TRS election manifesto in 2014 had promised strengthening of Panchayati Raj institutions but in the last eight years, the State Government has only weakened the institutions, forcing sarpanches to take loans for works with each gram panchayat burdened with ₹2-₹20 lakh pending bills,” he claimed.
The BJP chief accused the TS government of having “frozen public accounts of sarpanches and threatening to suspend them” when the Central government has sanctioned ₹11 lakh for Palle Pragati and constructing Vaikuntha Dhamams, ₹10 lakh for Rythu Vedika, ₹4 lakh for Palle Prakruthi Vanam, ₹2.5 lakh for construction of dump yards, and ₹1.5 lakh for setting up of nurseries in each village panchayat.
“Funds for roads, LED lights on streets, employment generation and other developmental works are also provided by the Centre in partnership with the State government but with the latter’s share missing. The 15th commission committee to authorise that spending has not been formed and sanctioned funds are being misappropriated. This shows their (TRS) commitment towards the village panchayats,” he said.
The MP said that the BJP would stand by the ‘beleaguered’ sarpanches and ward members and urged them not to resort to any extreme measures. He sought their support for the proposed silent protest being planned against the TRS government for the rights of sarpanches and local body representatives by the party soon.