SRINAGAR: All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) – an apex body of ex-Panchayat members of the state – has asked the political parties “not to poke your nose” in community institutions like Panchayats. The amalgam also urged the Governor-led administration to conduct the PRI (Panchayati Raj Institutions) elections on non-party and non-political basis.
“Panchayats are just a community institution to look after the local developmental and other affairs of the village and they have nothing to do with any kind of politics,” the AJKPC chairman Shafiq Mir according to a statement issued here said while addressing the amalgam convention organised here on Saturday. The ex-Panchayat leaders from across Kashmir participated in the convention.
“Due to absence of local governing institutions like Panchayats, the political loot and monopoly was at its peak at grassroots level and the only way to stop this loot and monopoly is to establish local governing institutions on non-political basis and deliver the justice,” Mir said. “Due to the non-participation of good and honest people in such institutions, a mafia (group of goons) has taken over the whole system from top to bottom with political patronage and they don’t want honest people to come in such institutions who can block their corrupt practices.”
Mir said a wrong impression has been created that Panchayats are political institutions while the fact is that it is a community institution which is in place in the villages since ages and it has nothing to do with any kind of politics. “All this impression has been created due to the interference of political parties in such institutions,” he said and asked the Panchayat members to remain away from all political parties and focus only on the developmental issues of their respective villages.
A resolution was also adopted in the convention through which the ex-Panchayat members thanked the Governor N N Vohra for strengthening PRI act by undoing the amendments made by previous BJP-PDP government.
In the resolution, the Panchayat members also urged Governor to strengthen this Act at par with the Maharashtra and Karnataka models “so that the democracy is brought at the grassroots level”.