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BJP working to weaken panchayats: Jot Singh Bisht

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By Our Staff Reporter
Mussoorie, 8 Jan: Speaking to media persons here, today, Uttarakhand Congress Vice President Jot Singh Bisht said that panchayats have been the most important contributor to the strengthening of democracy. Panchayats are basic to development as well as strong cornerstone of democracy.
He said that the Lok Sabha Speaker inaugurated a training campaign for panchayat representatives at a seminar in Dehradun, in which information was given on the functioning of the Lok Sabha. The Panchayat representatives, who wished to run the Gram Panchayats, Chhetra Panchayats and District Panchayats, should have been trained to run their respective houses and not briefed on Lok Sabha procedures. The panchayat representatives needed to fight for their rights. The Congress party favoured strengthening of the panchayats and would always stand with the panchayat representatives.
He recalled that the late Rajiv Gandhi had created an atmosphere of equality in society by giving constitutional status to the panchayats as well as giving rights to the poor, dalits and women to be represented in panchayats and others bodies. In the present, however, the BJP governments in the country and Uttarakhand were continuously working to weaken the panchayats. Even a year after the Panchayat elections held in November 2019, it was a matter of concern that the Panchayat representatives had not been given training in their duties and departmental functioning, which showed that the BJP government in Uttarakhand was constantly working to weaken the Panchayats.
The non-payment of the material component of the works done in MNREGA in 2018 and 2019 along with the continuous cuts in the budget of the panchayats was also proof of the BJP government’s negligence. In these 4 years, the 29 subjects which were to be subject to panchayats in the 73rd Constitutional Amendment were not even discussed by the state government. Panchayat representatives are constantly dependent on officers and employees. He said that talking about the empowerment of the panchayats by the BJP was just propaganda as elections were approaching in the state.