Delay in Panchayat, ULB polls matter of concern: Bhalla - watsupptoday.com
Delay in Panchayat, ULB polls matter of concern: Bhalla
Posted 30 Oct 2017 12:26 PM

Agencies
Elections are long overdue for Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) but the government is showing no interest in its conduct. The absence of Panchayats and ULBs not only prevents the decentralisation of power but also blocks the money that is budgeted for them. The central government has suspended its financial grant for these local governing bodies because of the delay in elections. The state election commission has not been constituted yet as per the Panchayati Raj Act.
This was stated by former Minister and senior Congress leader Raman Bhalla while addressing public meeting at Sector-12 Guru Nanak Nagar in Gandhi Nagar constituency. The meeting was organized by Bachan Singh and Block President Parveen Singh. Prominent among those present on the occasion include Ex-Corporator Kulbushan Sharma, Balwinder Singh, Ex-DySP G.S Gill Naseeb Singh Raina, Mohinder Singh, Manjeet Singh, Gurbachan Singh and Sangat Singh.
He said that the State will lose more than Rs. 4,000 crore granted by the 14th Finance Commission if the aforesaid polls are not held. “The funds consist of more than Rs. 3,117 crore for Panchayats and Rs. 1,044 crore for Urban Civic Bodies. Jammu and Kashmir has two municipal corporations, six municipal councils, 72 municipal committees, and 3,200 Panchayats, all of which have no elected representatives and have stopped receiving central funds. The Panchayati Raj Act 2011 enjoins state governments to set up a state election commission that is to be headed by a retired IAS officer or an official not below the rank of commissioner secretary with experience in conduct of polls. In the absence of the regulatory body, the Jammu Kashmir government has vested these powers in itself by announcing the polls. It allows the ruling party to have its veto on conducting polls”, Bhalla maintained adding that the government does not want to conduct polls in time because it will split its power.
Bhalla lashed out at the PDP-BJP coalition Government for weakening the Panchayat Raj system in the State by way of amendment to the Panchayat Raj Act, providing for indirect election of Sarpanch, which goes contrary to the basic spirit of 73rd amendment of the Constitution. Bhalla said that the amendment would deprive the Panchayats of their authority in the absence of a directly elected Sarpanchs.

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