J&K govt deliberately denying powers to Panchayats: JKNPP

Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party alleged the state government was deliberately denying powers to Panchayats.

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party Sunday alleged the state government was deliberately denying powers to Panchayats and the coalition partners have a "secret understanding" over the issue.

"The state government is deliberately delaying, denying and sabotaging the rights and powers to Panchayat members. Congress and NC have a secret understanding on this. It is a conspiracy and is sheer injustice to Sarpanches and Panches," JKNPP leader and MLA Harsh Dev Singh told reporters here.

Singh said the Panchayats should be empowered without any delay and 73th Amendment of the Constitution should be implemented in the state.

"Panchayats in the state should be empowered and rights and powers, which are legitimately due, to Sarpanches and Panches be given to them," the JKNPP working chairman said.

He accused the Congress of having double-standards over the issue of implementation of 73th Amendment, saying it has made no move to bring a Bill in the Assembly for this.

"Congress is protesting outside the Assembly for the implementation of the 73th Amendment, but has not brought Bill in the Assembly to empower Sarpanches and Panches.

"NPP had introduced a bill in the Budget session, but no Congressman raised his hand in its support. They outrightly rejected it," Singh claimed.

"If Congress is so sincere on the issue of empowering Panchayats and NC is opposing it, why doesn`t it withdraw its support to the coalition government?," he asked.

He said NPP will support any party including Peoples Democratic party (PDP) if it brings a Bill in the Assembly for empowering Panchayats.

Condemning the recent killings of Panchayat members, Singh alleged the state government has failed to provide a sense of security to these members.

Singh also appealed the state government to increase the cap on LPG to 12 per year and also reduce taxes and increase the subsidy on it. He asked if other states in the country can provide subsidy, why Jammu and Kashmir cannot.

He said government should divest extra-constitutional authorities like advisers and chairmen of various commissions and the money saved from them should be spent on providing the subsidy on fuel and gas to people.

He also asked the government to strengthen various institutions like Accountability Commission and Information Commission in the state to bring in more transparency, accountability and improve work-culture.

Singh also called for removing the ban on local news channels in the Valley saying they help in highlighting the problems and grievances of the people.