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Ex-Defense Minister ridicules holding Panchayat elections prematurely
11/20/2012 10:16:43 PM

EARLY TIMES REPORT

JAMMU, Nov 20: Former Union Minister Prof. Chaman Lal Gupta MLA has ridiculed the conduct of the elections of the Legislative Council seats of Panchayat quota without completing the process of elections as per the Panchayat Raj Act even that of Jammu and Kashmir, and indicated to make it an issue of challenging this whole drama in court of law as also on other forces of public debate.
Taking a strong exception to the statements of the Pradesh Congress President, Prof. Saif-ud-Din Soz and some other leaders of the State Coalition that the Block and District Committees polls linked with Panchayati Raj would be held shortly and the Panchayats would be empowered, Prof. Gupta observed that it was strange that Council polls are being held before completion of elections to the Panchayati Raj system as per law.
Premises of empowering Panchayats and that of providing of honorarium sounds luring the electors and it is a matter that the election commission should take cognizance.
The question is that why it was not done before going for polls and why these basic democracies were not empowered prior to the start of this battle of hustings even for four seats which are part of the Legislature.
He said that 73rd and 74th Amendments of the Indian Constitution are basis for empowering the basic democracies viz the Panchayats and Local bodies. The Congress in their Election Manifestoes had committed to this major issue but it was strange that they are not only sailing with the National Conference which is not favouring extension of anymore provision of the Indian Constitution to this part of the country but for their semi-separatist mindset.
Gupta said that instead of sorting out these basic issues of democratic rights of the people as also that of the unity of the country before forming the Coalition, both these parties opted for sharing the benefits of power without forging even a Common Minimum Programme and now their marriage of convenience of 2009, is recoiling upon the interests of the country as also that of democracy at the grass root level.
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