Congress wants extension of 73rd Amendment to JK in toto

Seeks Expert Advice To Put ‘Strong Case’ Before CC

ABID BASHIR

Srinagar, Oct 23: Seeking incorporation of all important provisions of 73rd Amendment of Indian Constitution into J&K’s Panchayati Raj Act, the State unit of Congress has decided to consult experts and persuade its alliance partner, National Conference, to avoid any confrontation on the issue.
The Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) wants to prepare a good case for the National Conference-Congress Coordination Committee regarding the amendment. The CC meet can take place anytime after Eid.
“I am working on thoroughly as to what provisions could be incorporated into the State’s Panchayati Raj Act (1989). I will also consult experts to seek their advice as well,” PCC chief Saifuddin Soz told Greater Kashmir. “Once we will be done with the exercise, we will meet in the CC,” Soz said. He said Congress wants that the process of Block Development Council (BDC) polls be started as early as possible.
He said two committees of the party were studying the provisions of 73rd Amendment- one in Jammu and another in Kashmir. Senior Congress leader Ravinder Sharma has been made the convener of the Jammu committee.
“We are studying how the elections could be organized in a better way. At the same time, we are meeting the ground level workers to seek their feedback on the incorporation of 73rd Amendment,” said Sharma. “Almost all provisions of the 73rd Amendment are good in nature. But we need to come up with a final conclusion with our alliance partner,” he said.
He said there was no scope for confrontation with the NC over the issue. “The reservation clause for the BDC polls was missing in the State Act. Similarly, there are some good provisions that can be added to the existing Act,” Sharma said. “We will conclude our exercise within a couple of weeks so that CC takes a final call.”
Another Congress leader, Ghulam Ahmed Mir, who is heading the committee for Kashmir, said the party was comparing State’s Panchayati Raj Act and the 73rd Amendment. “After comparing the two, we found there are many things that have already been incorporated in the existing Act. But at the same time, there are many things which can make the Act more strong,” said Mir, who is also MLA Dooru.
“Once the two committees finalize their reports, the party leadership will deliberate on the same before the issue is discussed in the CC. Once the CC discusses the issue, the State Cabinet will take the final decision,” he said.
The incorporation of 73rd Amendment into the J&K’s Panchayati Raj Act had become a bone of contention between the ruling alliance partners with NC vociferously opposing the move stating that the existing State Act was powerful enough. On the other hand, Congress pressed for the incorporation of all good provisions of the amendment especially the reservation for Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes and women in the BDC polls, which was missing in the State Act.
After pressure from the Congress, the NC had to agree to postpone the already announced BDC polls. The State Cabinet recently approved an ordinance seeking cancellation of notification regarding holding of BDC polls.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST




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