'Name ministers who asked not to transfer power to Panchayat'



Srinagar: JKPCC chief Saifuddin Soz on Saturday said Chief Minister Omar Abdullah should name the two Congress ministers who had allegedly asked him not to transfer block level powers to the Panchayat members.

"It is in the interest of the government that he (Omar) should name the ministers. He should name them so that we can have a debate within our party as well," Soz told reporters.

The JKPCC chief, who is also the chairman of the National Conference-Congress Coalition Coordination Committee, wrote a letter to Omar last week seeking implementation of 73rd Amendment of the national constitution in Jammu and Kashmir. He also released the letter to the media.

The chief minister responded by saying two Congress ministers had met him and requested that the block level powers should not be transferred to the Panchayats.

Soz said Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi has reiterated devolution of powers to Panchayats within a stipulated time frame.

"Rahul Gandhi meant implementation of the 73rd amendment in Jammu and Kashmir," Soz said dismissing suggestions that Congress leaders had back tracked from their demand.

He said the ministers and MLAs should trust the elected Panchayat members with the powers that are to be delegated to them. "The panches should enjoy the powers they need to serve the peopleā€¦ we have to trust them," he added.

PTI