MP: ‘Right to Recall’ in Panchayats not exercised

Right to Recall has been in vogue in Madhya Pradesh for over a decade now but not exercised at Gram Panchayats level, due to lack of awareness.

Bhopal: Although `Right to Recall` concept
gained wide prominence after Anna Hazare`s movement on the
Janlokpal Bill it has been in vogue in Madhya Pradesh for over
a decade now with people exercising the right in urban bodies
but not at Gram Panchayats level, due to lack of awareness.

Madhya Pradesh is also the first and only state to
introduce this concept for elected representatives at Gram
Panchayats for greater accountability to the Gram Sabha.

The `Right to Recall` is a critical tool designed to
enable voters dissatisfied with an elected official to replace
him before the expiry of his/her term of office. The recall
mechanism provides a way for citizens to retain control over
elected officials who are not representing the best interests
of their constituents or who are unaccountable or ineffectual.

"We do have a Right to Recall provision in our Gram
Panchayats and are pioneers in implementing this unique
concept but till date not a single Gram Panchayat has
exercised this right and only one has so far tried it
unsuccessfully," Principal Secretary Panchayat and Rural
Development, Aruna Sharma said.

However, she said that since the introduction of this
provision, awareness among the people in rural areas on the
issue has raised manifold but they don`t understand their
responsibility in this regard and this could be the reason
behind Gram Panchayats unable to exercise this right
effectively in the state.

The other reason is that action against erring elected
representatives is taken by the concerned district collectors
and divisional commissioners once they receive a complaint
against them, she said.

BJP`s Bhopal District`s President (rural) Bhaktapal
Singh said so far this right has not been exercised by the
people in his area due to the lack of publicity among the
rural masses about the concept, which holds that an elected
representative is an agent, a servant and not a master.

Also, village is a micro community where people know each
other quite well and therefore, they avoid disputes among
themselves, he said.

Bhopal District (rural) Congress President Avnish
Bhargava said most of the villagers are not aware of this

Congress MLA from Depalpur (rural) constituency, Satya
Narayan Patel also said that so far this right was not
exercised by the people in his area in any village.

In villages people avoid disputes in such matter as they
are living there as a group and don`t believe in political
confrontations, he said.

Though villagers of Chanderi in Sehore district have made
a make-shift temple in honour of Anna Hazare, they are also
not aware of the Right to Recall provision in the

MS Mewada, who motivated the villagers to establish
Hazare`s temple said, "I am not aware of it as nobody told
anything about it so far."

He said that he will enquire about this provision with
the panch/sarpanch and other officials.

However, the situation in urban bodies is quite different
with 27 elected representatives being recalled by the people
son. Among the 27, who were recalled, 13 were re-elected
while 14 lost in the subsequent election, sources said.


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