Congress celebrates National Panchayat Raj Day

Credit for three tiers Panchayat Raj system, reservation for women, SCs/ STs, goes to Rajiv Gandhi and Congress: JKPCC Chief

BJP weakened State Panchayat Raj Act during its coalition with PDP in 2016: Bhalla

Leaders express shock over covid situation, sympathise with suffering people, grieve the loss of lives

Jammu, April 24- JKPCC Chief G A Mir has said that the credit for introducing three tiers of Panchayat Raj system and 33%reservation for women and for SC s/STs in all tiers, in the country goes to the Former Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi and the Congress party.

Addressing an impressive function to celebrate the 28th anniversary of the "National Panchayat Raj Day" on the introduction of the 73rd amendment of the constitution, at J and K plaza Jammu, JKPCC Chief and other prominent leaders recalled the struggle of the congress party in the country especially in Jammu and Kashmir for the empowerment of panchayats and through them to the people at the grassroots level.

Former ministers and Vice Presidents JKPCC Mula Ram and Raman Bhalla, Kanta Bhan, Ravinder Sharma, Th Balwan Singh, Rajnish Sharma, Yogesh Sawhney, Manmohan Singh, Ashok Sharma, Shiv Dev Singh, Indu Pawar Ex- legislators, Th Hari Singh, Udey Chib, Gurdarshan Singh, KK Pangotra Advocate, Pawan Raina, Shashi Sharma, Suresh Dogra, Sanjeev Sharma, Thomas khokhar, JMC Corporators Ch Dwarka, Rajinder Singh Jamwal, Bhanu Mahajan, Inderjit Kour, Pritam Singh, Rashpal Bhardwaj, Gajan Singh, Krishan Lal Gupta, Dr R K Khajuria, Satish Sharma, Rajveer Singh, Gurmeet Kour Sahil Sharma, Kapil Singh, Ricky Dalotra, Block Presidents and DCC leaders of Jammu district attended the function.

Mir said that the dream of Mahatma Gandhi was fulfilled by the late Shri Rajiv Gandhi by introducing the amendment in the constitution to give constitutional status to the panchayats in Rural and Urban areas through the 73rd and 74th amendment which was implemented on this day in 1993 in the country.

He said that the reservation of 33% to women in all three tiers right from panch, sarpanch, BDC and DDCs including heads of DDC heads and similarly to the SCs and STs at all levels was ensured throughout the country as well in Jammu and Kashmir by the Congress party.

He said that the Congress struggled and worked with the PDP and then with NC from 2002 onwards to 2014 to incorporate the left out provisions of 73rd and 74th in J and K Panchyat Raj Act and finally all provisions of the central legislation were incorporated into the J and k on 14th March 2014.

He said it was the congress party that had recommended that the status of the chairperson of the DDCs should be of the cabinet minister in Jammu and Kashmir and it was the foundation laid by the Congress that the DDC members and BDC chairpersons were struggling to get the same to perform their responsibility.

He blamed the BJP for reversing the 73rd amendment when came to power with PDP and took the retrograde step of introducing indirect elections of Sarpanchs in 2016. It was the result of the protest dharna on July 8, 2016, in front of Raj Bhawan by the Congress party against the retrograde amendment and PRI representatives that then-Governor N N Vohra later nullified amendment of the BJP government, during his governor rule.

He lashed out at the BJP for their attempts of misleading and misguiding the people and trying to get the credit for the three tiers system but the people are not ignorant and can't be befooled. Celebrations of national panchayat day today itself indicated that it was implemented on this day in 1993,by the then Congress government headed by Shri P V Narasimha Rao and not by any BJP government.

Shri said that today the situation on the covid front is very serious and people are dying due to lack of oxygen in the hospitals. The central government is solely responsible for the mess and failures of the health system and its failures to take timely steps in this direction. He said that the BJP government has exported oxygen to outside countries in the recent past and today the hospitals in the country are facing an acute shortage of oxygen and vaccine and other medicines and people dying due to serious mismanagement of the central government.

He urged the party cadres to help the needy people and suffering sections in the situation in their neighbourhood and render all sorts of assistance to the society and the health authorities. He also advised the workers to reach out to the people in their area in a low key manner and take note of their problems and shortcomings of the government.

Former minister Mula Ram said that the entire credit for the present-day panchayat Raj system goes to the Congress party especially Rajiv Gandhi who introduced the landmark amendment in the constitution whereby Dalits and women got a reservation at all levels. The democratic institutions were set up at grassroots level to empower the people.

Former minister Raman Bhalla lashed out at the BJP for weakening the panchayats Raj system in Jammu and Kashmir when it was in power with PDP. They brought a retrograde amendment of indirect elections to the panchayats which was opposed tooth and nail by Congress and later then-Governor Shri N N Vohra annulled the same after acquiring powers under Governor rule.

Ravinder Sharma detailed the sequence of events leading to the introduction of the 73rd and 74th amendment and it's implementation in Jammu and Kashmir during Congress-PDP and finally under the Cong-NC government. He referred to the struggle of the congress party for the implementation of the central legislation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Several prominent leaders and Corporators spoke on the occasion. The speakers expressed shock over the loss of lives due to the worst covid situation in the country and sympathised with the suffering people and their families and grieved the loss of precious lives.

They expressed grave concern over the situation and blamed the central government for the complacency leading to an acute shortage of health facilities.

The participants in the function observed the covid prevention behaviour with participation with in permissible limits only.