Srinagar: National Conference on Saturday slammed PDP-BJP coalition for trampling the spirit of three-tier democracy in Jammu and Kashmir by undertaking delimitation of Panchayat wards in a hush manner and with a political motivation ahead of the proposed Panchayat elections.
Instead of involving the people at grass roots level in decision making with regard to rural development and empowerment, the coalition governments insensitive and sinister move has triggered almost a street war in every village due to highhandedness of the agency involved at the behest of ruling political executives, National Conference spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu said in a statement and referred to the unfortunate clashes perpetrated by the workers of ruling alliance in Kalakote and Bhaderwah recently.
He said a vicious atmosphere has been generated by bringing people eye ball to eyeball situation while carving out new wards. As the decisions are being forced upon the people without taking into consideration their logical point of view, he said the composition of wards are being manipulated to suit the political interests of the ruling coalition partners. He described the exercise as anti-people, fraught with danger of defeating the purpose of Panchayati Raj System.
Junaid Azim Mattoo described the time-frame allocated for undertaking delimitation of wards as intriguing, wondering how such a massive exercise can be completed in a few days given the vast mass of rural landscape. In this context, he referred to the circular instructions of the government, seeking delimiting of panchayats within seven days. The irony is that the agency concerned is itself confused whether to bifurcate the panchayats with population upto 3,000 or 6,000, he said, adding that this has generated chaotic situation across the Jammu region in particular with people smelling rat.
National Conference sought fair, transparent and rational delimitation as per set procedure of Election Commission and urged the government to involve people in this exercise in a big way. Unless mass aspirations are assuaged, the purpose of the three-tier democracy is defeated, he observed.
Junaid Azim Mattu advised the coalition government to shun the confrontational path and submit before the will of the people. He blamed the PDP-BJP duo for demolishing institutional mechanism due to their myopic political understanding and lack of mass support and referred to amendment to J&K Panchayati Raj Act 1989. The amendment was totally unwarranted as the Act of 1989 was brought after studying various models in various states across the country, he said, adding that this piece of legislation had withstood test of times and was widely acclaimed as a model Act worth emulation.
The National Conference spokesperson said the coalition stands exposed for its zero-base in rural areas, which had apparently compelled it to undertake the amendment so that Sarpanchs are elected indirectly. In the same manner now, the government is undertaking bifurcation of Panchayat wards under the garb of delimitation to have its way in grass roots level democratic institutions, he said and asserted that National Conference will fight such anti-people measures with its full might.
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