Govt Tried To Use Panchayat Members As Propaganda Tool: Mufti

Govt Tried To Use Panchayat Members As Propaganda Tool: Mufti

29 September 2012
Rising Kashmir


Srinagar: Stating that empowerment of people through elected institutions was an important aim of his party, PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Saturday urged restraint in the debate over security and empowerment of Panchs and Sarpanchs to help their functioning and well being. “It was unfortunate that the government had allowed a golden opportunity for democratization of our polity offered by Panchayat elections to go waste as a result of its inefficiency and political bankruptcy,” Mufti said while addressing a workers meeting of Noorabad constituency of Aharbal. He said after decades, the State had witnessed grass roots political recruitment through seriously contested elections and people had expected the Panchayat institution to deliver at the village level. “But the government failed to seize this opportunity and tried to use the elected village representatives as propaganda tool and readymade audience for their political meetings instead of empowering them to carry out development tasks in accordance with the spirit of Panchayat Raj”. “PDP would use its political space, moral authority and legislative strength to amend the state law in order to establish a genuine and effective three tier Panchayat raj system, which would allow people to run their affairs in accordance with the requirements of their area. This system had worked well throughout India and for this purpose PDP has already submitted a bill to amend the state law governing the Panchayats and would welcome support from likeminded parties. Panchayat system should lead to reduction in bureaucratization of administration whereas the present government has converted the panchayats into yet another client group of officials and politicians which is unacceptable to PDP,” the PDP patron said. He said it was unfair and unwise to make Panchayats a part of the conflict discourse around Jammu and Kashmir. “J&K faced a tremendous deficit on account of democratic institutions and Panchayats could be instrumental in giving a new direction to governance in state. Linking the Panchayat elections to the larger Kashmir issue was neither desirable nor feasible” he added and said this fallacy made the panchs and sarpanchs vulnerable,” he added. Expressing concern at the degeneration of overall security scenario, Mufti said instead of providing an enabling environment and the required powers for Panchayats to carry out their tasks effectively, the government was talking in terms of unified command and security forces domination. “This was a complete reversal of the situation that had been created by the PDP led coalition government. It it does not do any honor to the government that Kashmir observed a strike on the arrival of president of country on his first visit here,” he added.