NC Gives In On 73rd Amendment

NC Gives In On 73rd Amendment

14 December 2013
Greater Kashmir
Arvind Sharma

Jammu: Finally succumbing to Congress pressure, National Conference has agreed to incorporate major provisions of 73rd Amendment of Indian Constitution in the State Panchayat Raj Act. The amendments in the State Panchayat Raj Act are likely to be introduced in the upcoming Budget session of the State Assembly, sources said. The recommendations presented by an internal committee of Congress have gone through vetting process and the Rural Development Department (RDD) is preparing a memo in this regard which would be placed before the Cabinet for its approval, official sources informed Greater Kashmir. “Constitution of Election Commission, Finance Commission, reservation at BDC level, reduction of age from 25 to 21 years for contesting Panchayat elections and appointment of Ombudsman are the major recommendations agreed upon,” they said. Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Ali Muhammad Sagar said the department is preparing a memo on the suggestions given by Congress. “We have also made sure that the provisions suggested by Congress do not contradict with our own existing Act as it already has many of these,” he said adding, “The memo will soon be placed before the Cabinet.” The coalition partners had been at loggerheads over the inclusion of 73rd Amendment in the JK Panchayat Raj Act. Congress had all along been maintaining that without the inclusion of 73rd Amendment the empowerment of rural bodies was not possible. NC on the other hand maintained that the existing State Act has all the provisions at par with the Central Act for empowering Panchayats. The NC was also of the view that adopting the Central Act in toto would erode JK’s autonomy.