Upcoming Panchayat elections an opportunity to turn the tide in their favour: Sham


JAMMU, Jan 12: Describing grass-root level democratic institutions pivotal for transformation of rural areas in terms of development, Sr. Vice President J&K PCC and Former minister Sham Lal exhorted the cadre to gear up for upcoming Panchayat elections.
“Massive participation of youth and women is imperative for ensuring their effective involvement in decision making at local levels,” Sham said while addressing Congress delegates meeting at Akhnoor.
He exuded confidence that the sagacious voters would elect dedicated and public spirited representatives who would change the rural scenario by their innovative ideas.The development of rural areas and improvement of civic amenities in urban and semi-urban areas assume significance in view of the population explosion and growing needs of populace, he added.
"Notwithstanding the spirit of Panchayati Raj System having been trampled by the PDP-BJP dispensation by amending the Panchayat Raj Act 1989, Sham Lal said that Congress believes Panchayats as engine of political empowerment of the people at large and development of rural areas as per local aspirations".
Sharma said the ensuing elections will give new dimension to political discourse in the State with politically sagacious people signaling a change to undo the wrongs committed by the present coalition government. He referred to the amendment in the Panchayati Raj Act 1989 mainly to have indirect election of Sarpanchs and said this will weaken the system and give rise to manipulations. He said Jammu and Kashmir had an indigenous Panchyati Raj System that empowered people to actively participate in the process of planning, executing and monitoring of development at village levels.
"We will restore back the spirit of the Panchayat Raj Act, as per urges and aspirations of the people, once we come with a clear mandate and undo the wrong with two-thirds majority", he added.
He further asked the cadre to further intensify their mass contact, fan out in their areas and seek massive participation of voters in the upcoming democratic exercise. "Women must come forward hugely and benefit from the 33 percent reservation in Panchayats", he added.
Sharma said that Congress believes in people being real fountain head of power and therefore success of the party in the upcoming elections would go a long way in realizing this cherished agenda. He said the basic level democratic institutions can prove as useful engines of change, if the elected representatives work with a sense of devotion and missionary zeal.

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