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‘Govt. committed to strengthening panchayati raj institutions’

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah speaking at a meeting in Deodurg, Raichur district, on Thursday. —PHOTO: SANTOSH SAGAR (Another Report on page 4)

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah speaking at a meeting in Deodurg, Raichur district, on Thursday. —PHOTO: SANTOSH SAGAR (Another Report on page 4)  

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has reiterated his government’s commitment to strengthening panchayati raj institutions as part of its larger vision of realising Mahatma Gandhi’s gram swaraj dream.

He was addressing a Congress activists’ meeting organised in Deodurg, Raichur district, as part of the campaign for the Legislative Council polls, on Thursday.

“We believe in decentralisation of power as a means to empower people at grassroots level. To strengthen panchayati raj institutions as part of our vision to empower local governing bodies, we have amended the Panchayat Raj Act. The provisions of the Act will bestow the status of a State Minister to presidents and vice-presidents of zilla panchayats and double the remuneration of gram panchayat members,” he said. Exuding confidence over the party’s performance in the polls, the Chief Minister said that the Congress would win all 20 seats it contested. “In Raichur-Koppal constituency, Congress candidate Basavaraj Patil Itagi will easily win as the party enjoys a better support base among elected members of local governing bodies,” he said. He ridiculed BJP for fielding a candidate who “knew nothing of politics” and called upon the voters not to be enticed by BJP’s fake promises.

Mr. Siddaramaiah also reiterated his commitment to the all-round progress of Hyderabad Karnataka with increased allocation of funds to the Hyderabad-Karnataka Region Development Board.

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