Villagers welcome J-K Govt. decision to hold panchayat polls

Jammu, Feb 15 (ANI): Residents of Jammu and Kashmir's Kangan village has welcomed the state government decision to hold panchayat polls.

The state government will hold elections at three levels which would focus at village, block and district levels.

Ali Muhammad Sagar, State Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, said through these elections, monitoring would be done at village-level, which would eventually bring transparency in the system, increase accountability and reduce corruption.

"These elections will be a big step towards the empowerment of people. Total population of the state living in the villages is more than 74 percent. Those people and especially women folks will be empowered. I believe that corruption will be reduced upto great extent. Regarding our flagship schemes, the gap, which is there between the people and governing agencies, will be narrowed down," he said.

Nazir Ahmad Khatana, Village Head, said the decision is for the betterment of villagers, as it would give a chance to youth to come forward and represent the people.

"This step of government to hold elections above the party level is very good. In this type of election, every man who is eligible can participate. Sometimes when a person stands from a certain party, he is not that eligible, but in this type of elections, people who are eligible enough can come up in front and represent the people," he said.

In 2000, panchayati election were held ,but no powers were given to sarpanch and panchs.

After intensive pressure from Central government the state government has decided to hold three-tier Panchayat polls to be completed this year.

The schedule for the polls, to be held on non-party basis, would be announced after consultation with the Chief Electoral Officer of the State.

The absence of panchayat raj institutions in the State hampers flow of funds from the Centre for the rural development under various centrally sponsored schemes. (ANI)

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