CM for steps to check money power in panchayat polls

CM for steps to check money power in panchayat polls

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, on Tuesday, called for steps to curb use of money power in panchayat elections.

Addressing a convention of experts organised by the State government to discuss reforms in panchayat raj, Siddaramaiah rued the advent of money power even in gram panchayat elections. “Measures need to be taken to curb the use of money power at the grassroots, else, the very purpose of decentralisation of power is lost,” he observed.

While the 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution had given primacy to panchayats, people’s participation in its implementation was below expectations. While the Constitutional amendments had brought in a three-tier panchayat raj system, he personally favoured the model mooted by Nazir Sab that comprised Mandal Panchayat and Zilla Parishat.

Other reforms that could be ushered in are: to hold direct elections for the post of presidents of zilla and gram panchayats, he felt.

Dharmadhikari Veerendra Heggade mooted the idea of single window agency at gram panchayat level to disperse schemes and programmes of various departments.
People should become partners in progress by utilising the government machinery and should not just remain beneficiaries of government schemes, he noted.

Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister H K Patil said it was unfortunate that 80 per cent of gram panchayats had not been holding meetings on a regular basis.

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