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CM Reddy Destabilised Panchayat System, Sarpanches Respected Only During TDP Regime: Chandrababu Naidu

প্রতিবেদক
bdnewstimes
আগস্ট ১৮, ২০২৩ ১২:১১ পূর্বাহ্ণ


Former Chief Minister and TDP supremo, Nara Chandrababu Naidu. (Image: News18)

Former Chief Minister and TDP supremo, Nara Chandrababu Naidu. (Image: News18)

Urging sarpanches to advocate for their rights, including fund allocation, Naidu said Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy would be compelled to depart the State if the sarpanches engaged in a determined struggle.

Highlighting that Panchayats possess special powers, while sarpanches, MPTCs and ZPTCs play pivotal roles within the system akin to that of the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister, former CM and TDP supremo, Nara Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday said that the Constitution has also granted distinct powers to panchayats.

Addressing a meeting focused on the ailing panchayat system in the State, as part of the ‘Bhavishyathuku Guarantee’ program, Naidu stated that sarpanches received due respect exclusively during the TDP regime. Urging sarpanches to advocate for their rights, including fund allocation, Naidu said Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy would be compelled to depart the State if the sarpanches engaged in a determined struggle.

Explaining that the country operates under a three-tier system, wherein the Center fulfills its responsibilities, the State Government manages administration, and the panchayats led by sarpanches are responsible for self-governance, Naidu stated, “If the self-administration of the panchayats is robust, the villages will experience rapid development. The revered Mahatma Gandhi had championed panchayats as the foundation of the entire system.”

Reflecting on his tenure as the chief minister when he bestowed special powers upon sarpanches in 2002, the TDP supremo noted that the party leader, Babu Rajendra Prasad, has persistently advocated for the rights of sarpanches. Out of the State’s total population of five crore, he pointed out that 3.5 crore reside in rural areas. He further added that 12,920 panchayats have been established, each with a sarpanch to represent these constituents.

“Reddy has completely undermined this esteemed panchayat system,” Naidu expressed his regret, stating that not only have their special powers been stripped away, but also the funds intended for village development have been diverted and are being misused. Pointing out that the Finance Commission determines the allocation of funds for panchayats, including the share from both the Centre and the State, the former chief minister said that the authority to expend these funds lies with the sarpanches.

“Only sarpanches and the grama sabhas have the right to spend the NAREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) funds on creating assets for their villages, such as tanks, constructions and panchayat buildings,” Naidu asserted. He questioned whether the current Chief Minister, who shifted the authority of sarpanches to local volunteers and members of his own party, would tolerate any interference with his own powers.

Reflecting on how the TDP government had allocated funds for panchayats and actively promoted rural development, Naidu mentioned that even seven panchayats received national awards for their commendable developmental projects. “I bestowed the highest respect upon the sarpanches and elevated their status. However, all of this has now become history,” he lamented.

Naidu sensed an urgent need for the sarpanches to initiate a battle against this government to reclaim their rights. “The time has arrived for all of you to champion the respect and integrity of the panchayats, and to preserve the system – it is your duty,” Naidu said, urging the sarpanches to commence their fight immediately. The former chief minister addressed the doubts raised by several sarpanches during the meeting.



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