Candidates make beeline to contest in GP polls

Rise in fund allocation for GPs reason for many aspirants enthusiasm

All the three parties-BJP, Congress and JD(S) have proclaimed that they will give first preference to the sincere and the dedicated aspirants. However, with the GP elections too turning out to be a prestige issue, money is playing the game.

When one looks deeper into the sudden enthusiasm among the candidates to contest for the election, one will discover the answer to be just ‘funds’.

Earlier the funds allocated to Gram Panchayats were just 30 per cent of the land revenue. While this amount used to be some thousands then, today it has shot up to lakhs. While earlier this amount used to be controlled by Taluk Panchayat and Zilla Panchayat, today the hold of both these bodies has relaxed. The candidates have realised that with decentralisation of power, what has come along is decentralisation of corruption too. With the surety that they will reap back the amount that they spend for the election, the candidates are eager to jump into the wagon of election.

In every Gram Panchayat, works like box drainage and pipeline etc keep on happening. It is alleged that the GP members themselves contest in the tender under some fake name to get the work.

There are only a few GPs in the district where the Grama Sabhe are held systematically. There is a rule that the beneficiaries for housing schemes must be selected during the same meeting. Hence, lesser the participation, greater the chances for the GP member to get a house done for the ones he wants to. A GP on an average gets Rs 25 to 30 lakh from Centre and the State for various projects. After the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme was implemented, the rat race for GP membership has doubled. The contractor-officials-GP members trio are making good profits under MGNREGS.

The works undertaken at GP levels are of substandard quality. Hence, it is a cycle to do the works every year. With GP becoming a viable and profitable ‘job’ for corrupt people, handful of honest officials are lost in this trade fair called politics.

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