Panchayat Members Don’t Need Security, But Empowerment: Soz

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SRINAGAR (ONS) – Terming the “empowerment” of panchayat leaders as their greatest security, the state Congress chief, Prof Saifuddin Soz, on Saturday said that the rural representatives needed no other protection as they faced no threat.

“Panches and sarpanches need no security,” Prof Soz said at a press conference in Srinagar. “What is urgently needed is their empowerment. That will be their security.”

“The Congress is committed to its promise of empowering panchayat members. It is firm on its promise of strengthening panchayati raj institutions in Jammu and Kashmir, and they will be according respect in every way,” he said.

“Panches and sarpanches are brave of heart and mind,” he said. “Security does not mean that four policemen have to be posted at every house.”

“The group that has called for a boycott of the legislative council elections will be taken into confidence. Panches and sarpanches want to field their candidates, for which there is no bar in a democratic system,” he said.

“But boycotting the elections is not in the interests of democracy,” he said.

“I have personally approached the panchayat groups who have called for a boycott and told them that they will be taken into confidence. My efforts are on, and I am hopeful that they will give full cooperation to my candidates,” he said.

 “If those calling for boycott field their own candidates against mine, I will have no objection. All I want is that they should not boycott the election,” he said.

“The Congress has already drawn up a report on the 73rd Amendment, and it will haded over to our coalition partner National Conference so that the provisions are incorporated into the state’s panchayat system,” he said.

“The issue is under consideration of the coalition partners for building a consensus,” he said. 

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