Ramban, Oct 9: At least 25 sarpanchs and 30 panchs from Banihal and Ramsu blocks of Ramban district tendered their resignation to their respective Block Development Councils (BDCs) alleging that the district administration was ignoring them.
In this connection, meetings of elected village representatives were held in Banihal and Ramsu and resolutions were passed and copies of resolutions.
The elected panchayats and village representatives of Banihal and Ramsu said that on Wednesday a meeting was chaired by Union Minister for Rural Development Department and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution SadhviNiranjanJyoti in Banihal as part of Centre’s public outreach programme in which they were not invited by the administration.
They also blamed the BDOs of Banihal and Ramban for not inviting them to the meeting chaired by the union minister at Banihal on Wednesday.
They said officers of the district administration were ignoring them on one pretext or the other and alleged that the payments of various works carried out in the panchayats were pending since long.
They also demanded proper implementation of the Panchayati Raj Act at the grass root level.
Many sarpanchs said that they had contested elections in hard times but were treated like they were no one.
They said that the government departments were executing various development works in their areas without seeking consent of the elected village representatives or taking them into confidence.
“We are elected village representatives only on papers,” they said. “If we are not allowed to participate in meetings chaired by the government and administration then what is the fun of our representation? If we aren’t allowed in any meetings and not allowed to exercise our power, then we don’t need this job. We have tendered our resignations to the concerned BDCs for onward submission.”
They also complained that the concerned officers of the departments were not participating in Gram Sabhas conducted in the panchayats.
On Saturday, a group of elected sarpanchs and panchs led by District President Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference Muhammad IqbalKatoch met District Panchayat Officer Ramban, Ashoke Singh and apprised him about the problems being faced by the elected village and panchyat representatives.
Meanwhile, officers from district sub divisional administration Ramsu and Banihal appealed to sarpanchs and panchs to withdraw their resignations and assured them that their grievances would be redressed on priority.