Punjab Congress opposes indirect Sarpanch election

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Chandigarh, Jan 5 (UNI) Punjab Congress has taken exception to the reported move of the SAD-BJP government for indirect election of Sarpanches.

Punjab Congress Spokesman Jagmohan Singh Kang, in a statement here, today asked the Punjab government to clarify the exigency which compelled them to moot the proposal for opting indirect election to the Panchayati Raj Institutions.'' ''This move seems to be an indicator of the fall in the popularity graph of the alliance government, which is perhaps scared of facing direct elections to this most important grassroot level democratic institution. This unwarranted, uncalled for and unfortunate proposal exhibits the malafide of the ruling party for their narrow political ends,'' Mr Kang alleged.

He stressed that the indirect election through Panches would lead to instability, horse trading and undue pressures by the government functionaries, jeopardising the development of villages and implementation of development schemes.

''The apprehension that Sarpanches will remain under the constant fear of their removal by faction-ridden Panches has caused a lot of resentment and unrest among the rural masses,'' he added.

Mr Kang said the Congress would not in any case tolerate ''throttling of democracy'' and would oppose the move to change the normal process of direct election of Sarpanches, at every level.

''Any move to play with the tenets of 73rd Constitutional Amendment of 1992 will not be allowed to kill the spirit of Constitution and is against democratic norms,'' Mr Kang added.

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