Need to strengthen Panchayat Raj: Mani Shankar Aiyar

Last Updated 22 December 2019, 20:11 IST

Strengthening of Panchayat Raj System should become a major poll plank during the election to Assembly, senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said.

Speaking at the Karnataka Panchayat Raj Parishath founding day on Sunday, he said the Panchayat Raj was the only way to empower the livelihoods in rural India.

“However, strengthening the system requires political will. If the political parties have to take this matter seriously, it should become an election issue,” he said.

He stated that the system was collapsing in Uttar Pradesh, but the state’s chief minister was not worried about the problem.

“In Karnataka, the Congress government had empowered the panchayats based on the report by a committee led by
K R Ramesh Kumar. If the required financial assistance is given to such bodies, Karnataka can emerge as a model state,” he said.

Ramesh Kumar said Rajiv Gandhi believed in the Panchayat Raj System. However, no political party, including the Congress, is worried about strengthening the system now, he said, adding that the priorities of the ruling parties have changed.

(Published 22 December 2019, 19:17 IST)

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