Jammu: Describing former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi as the “architect of Panchayat Raj” in the country, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPC) Sunday launched its campaign for the forthcoming Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) elections in the Union Territory (UT) on his (Rajiv’s) 32nd death anniversary.
On the occasion, hundreds of representatives from Panchayats and urban bodies, all senior leaders of the party including former ministers, former legislators, DCC presidents, Corporators, Councillors, DDCs and BDCs, frontal wings, blocks and wards presidents paid rich tributes to the former Prime Minister in an impressive function held at Mahajan Hall, Shalamar Road.
The function was chaired by JKPCC president Vikar Rasool Wani and was also attended by working president Raman Bhalla; former Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand; former PCC president Peerzada Mohd Sayeed; former minister Mula Ram; ex MLC G N Monga; former MP T S Bajwa; ex-ministers Yogesh Sawhney, Shabir Ahmned Khan and Gurbachan Kumari Rana; ex-MLCs Ravinder Sharma and Thakur Balbir Singh (Ex-MLC) and former MLA Indu Pawar besides others.
Addressing the gathering, PCC chief recalled the services of Rajiv Gandhi as the youngest Prime Minister who gave the vision to the youth of the country of the challenges of the 21st century; brought IT and telecom revolution and lowered the voting age to 18 years to empower them.
“He was the architect of the Panchayat Raj system in the country as he gave constitutional status and powers through 73rd and 74th amendments thus ensuring 33 percent reservations to the women and proportional representation to the SCs and STs in all three tiers of the Panchayat Raj system. He transferred the powers to the people at the grass root level,” Vikar Rasool said.
Launching the party’s campaign for the forthcoming PRI elections in J&K, he exhorted the party workers to gear up for the Panchayat and ULB elections. “The winds of change have started in the country from Karnataka following the successful Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Rahul Gandhi. Every true Congress man should be ready to respond to the call of the party high command as a disciplined soldier and unitedly fight back to bring the party back to the power to serve the people and defeat the politics of hate and division,” he said.
Hitting out at the BJP for snatching the democratic rights of the people of J&K by downgrading the state and not holding elections to the assembly for five years, the JKPCC chief said, “Our struggle for restoration of state and holding assembly elections shall be intensified.”