GP Andolana opposes Panchayat Raj Bill

The Gram Panchayat Hakkotaya Andolana has demanded that the Karnataka Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2013 be revoked. 

The bill grants regional commissioners the authority to remove the president and members of gram panchayat if they do not convene a meeting of gram sabhas and ward sabhas once in six months. A sub-clause in the bill has also provided for disciplinary action to be taken against Panchayat Development Officers if they fail to assist in the ward sabha meetings. 

“The Bill seeks to usurp the powers of Grama Panchayats whose presidents and members include representatives of women and marginalised communities who face challenges to perform their duties,” said Nandana Reddy, Convener of Gram Panchayat Hakkotaya Andolana. He also claimed that the bill strengthens bureaucracy over the functioning of gram panchayats — at a time when there is a need to streamline measures to further empower Gram Panchayats.

“It is ironic that while legislators are not held accountable for their non-participation in legislative sessions, they claim to impose accountability on Grama Panchayats,” a press release stated.

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