Iyer exhorts Panchayat members to fight Amendment to the Act
Bangalore, Aug 13 (UNI) Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Mani Shankar Iyer today exhorted the panchayat members in Karnataka to fight against the State Government's move to amend the Panchayat Raj Act undermining the rights and powers of the elected representatives in the grassroot level.
Speaking at a workshop for women Panchayat members of Zilla Panchayat, Taluk Panchayat and and Gram Panchayats here, he said "Don't allow MLAs and MLCs to set an agenda for you. There are only 300 odd such members and you are in lakhs. If you don't protest the amendment will incorporated and the fault will be entirely yours." There has been widespread protests by the Panchayat members in Karnataka on the Amendment which had been passed in both the houses of the State Legislature but returned by Governor T N Chaturvedi for reconsideration.
"If the government returns the bill to the Governor he will have no choice but to accept this. Don't let this happen," he told the women representatives.
Mr Iyer said that the Centre was coming out with separate reports on the status of women in Panchayat Raj system and the state of panchayats in the country. The first report would deal with issues on how woman had fared in PR institutions and steps needed to be initiated by the government, while the other one was an independent analysis.
These reports would be submitted to the Prime Minister and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, he added.