Panchayat elections in Jharkhand likely by May

Ranchi: Panchayat elections in Jharkhand are likely to be held by May this year, a senior official said on Tuesday.

"Panchayat elections are most likely to be held by May 2010. The state government is going to start pre-poll training for Panchayati Raj functionaries," Secretary, Department of Panchyati Raj, S K Satpathy said.

Satpathy, who was speaking on the last day of the three-day state-level assembly of women at Itki, about 30 km from here, said women should come forward with the demand for reservation.

"The demand for the 50 per cent reservation should come from women per se," he said.

Calling upon the women to actively demand their legal rights and entitlements under various government programmes like NREGA, Satpathy said this would bring the desired change in empowering women legally and politically.

The Director of state Panchayati Raj, Ganesh Prasad advocated the need for elections to the three-tier panchayat system for effective implementation of welfare schemes.

Jharkhand High Court judge, Justice M Y Eqbal said abolishing witchcraft should be the top most priority of all the stakeholders of the society. The programme was held by Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra.