No need of new provisions: NC

Have Finalized Recommendations: Congress

73rd Amendment Row

ABID BASHIR

Srinagar, Jan 1: Taking its coalition partner Congress head-on, ruling National Conference (NC) Tuesday made it clear that it won’t allow incorporation of any new provisions in the State Panchayat Raj Act which, according to the party, was “much comprehensive” than the existing Panchayat laws in any other state of India.
“We don’t need any provisions of the 73rd amendment of the Indian Constitution as J&K Panchayat Raj Act 1989 is more comprehensive than similar laws in any other State of India,” NC ideologue and Member Parliament, Muhammad Shafi (Uri) told Greater Kashmir.
Shafi said to strengthen the state’s Panchayat Raj institutions, it is imperative to implement the J&K Panchayat Raj Act in letter and spirit. “We don’t need any new provisions,” he reiterated. The NC leader’s statement comes at a time when Congress has finalized its report on the provisions of the 73rd amendment of the Constitution of India to be incorporated in the existing J&K Panchayat Raj Act.
However, another senior NC leader and Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Ali Muhammad Sagar said the “coalition partners have agreed to incorporate some new provisions aimed at strengthening the Panchayat Raj Act further.”
The Congress report, sources said, will be tabled in the NC-Congress Coalition Coordination Committee (CCC) meeting next week. “Elections for the Block Development Council (BDC) were postponed as Congress wanted to add more provisions to the State Panchayat Act. So, we agreed and are now waiting for the Congress report,” the Law Minister said. “We will scrutinize the Congress report and accordingly make our stand clear.”
Pradesh Congress Committee chief Prof Saifuddin Soz said the party has finalized its report and is scheduled to table it in the CCC meeting next week. “We want to evolve mutual understanding on the issues we have raised in the report,” he said. Congress MLC Ghulam Nabi Monga said the coalition partners have already agreed on some points mentioned in the report. “Like, we have stressed for ending the nomination system. We want that chairman of a block should be either a Sarpanch or a Panch,” Monga said.
Sources privy to the Congress report said the main thrust of the report is on constitutional guarantee to five-year term of Sarpanchs and Panchs. “The party has cited many reasons for its demand — even a single officer or for that matter the minister concerned can declare any Panchayat Halqa as null and void. The party has demanded that the power of dissolving Panchayats should remain only with the State cabinet,” sources said. They further said the report has also mentioned that Congress wants the audit of Panchayats to be conducted by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India. Sources said Congress will test waters before its alliance partner, who may have some reservations on giving constitutional guarantee to the Sarpanchs and Panchs.
“This demand may not go down well with the NC for many reasons. The move can have serious repercussions as it would end the intervention of ministers in the Panchayats,” said a NC source.
Pertinently, the state cabinet had to pass an ordinance to postpone the already announced BDC elections that were supposed to be held on November 7, 2012.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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