Political heat ahead of panchayat polls in Khammam district

Political heat ahead of panchayat polls in Khammam district
Highlights

All the major parties are gearing up to win maximum number of seats in the crucial village-level elections ahead of the elections to Zilla Parishad (ZP) and Mandal Parishad (MP) Territorial Constituencies in Khammam district. The term of the current members ends in August this year.

Khammam: All the major parties are gearing up to win maximum number of seats in the crucial village-level elections ahead of the elections to Zilla Parishad (ZP) and Mandal Parishad (MP) Territorial Constituencies in Khammam district. The term of the current members ends in August this year.

The State Election Commissioner had already conducted meetings with the officials of Panchayat Raj department of various districts on conducting the elections and ordered them to make necessary arrangements.

The district administration has conveyed information to the Election Commission about the staff availability in the district for smooth conduct of panchayat elections. There are about 427 village panchayats in the district with nearly 4,320 wards and if the government declares thandas as village panchayats, then district will have 173 more village panchayats and 1,222 more wards.

But the government is yet to take a decision on making thandas and gond gudems as gram panchayat.Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, who is considering introduction of a ‘panchayat raj bill’ to have an effective panchayat raj system, had directed the department officials to draft the new bill to make sure that the local bodies work effectively.

Legislators, Members of Parliament and other leaders of major parties started the exercise of selecting candidates and issue party tickets in consultation with the presidents of party district units.

Congress leaders alleged that the State government didn’t release even a single paisa for the development of villages in the last two years and neglected sarpanches and now trying to go for elections before the tenure of village panchayats and sarpanches concludes.

The government must hold polls as per the schedule instead of cutting short the tenure of village panchayats and sarpanches, which will end in August, they demanded. BJP leader G Kishan Reddy during a recent visit to Khammam district alleged that the TRS government neglected village panchayats and failed to take initiation in introducing new panchayat raj bill till date. Further it also diverted the central funds.

The TRS government has formed farmers coordination committees against the panchayat raj system. Without funds and responsibilities, the village sarpanches are unable to take up any developmental activities.

CPI district secretary Bagam Hemanth Rao alleged that the government is trying to cheat people by conducting indirect sarpanch elections. Since, many people in the State are anti-government, he alleged that the ruling TRS is trying all possible ways to win panchayat elections.

The government must conduct elections as per old system. Before introducing any reforms or new Panchayat Raj system, the State government must invite for an all-party meeting and consider their opinions, he demanded. As per the new law, candidates contesting for sarpanch elections must pass SSC.

Prof Srinivas said the elected representatives must be educated to implement government policies in an appropriate way. It is always good if more educated people become a part of panchayats, he added.

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