Curtailing democracy

The much delayed Panchayat election in the state is likely to be held in either April or May next year. This announcement by Panchayati Raj minister Alo Libang on Monday has virtually dashed any hope of early conduct of Panchayat poll. The election is due since May this year. Several civil society bodies and opposition Congress have been demanding for early conduct of the poll. Along with Panchayat, the state government has also indefinitely postponed the municipal elections to Pasighat and Itanagar municipal. They cited monsoon as the reason for postponing the municipal elections. Strangely the winter has set in but they are yet to conduct the municipal election.
The decision of state government to delay Panchayat and municipal elections are against the spirit of democracy. The ruling BJP reportedly favours holding of these two elections along with assembly election which is due for May 2019. If the elections are conducted at the whims and fancies of ruling party then there is no meaning of democracy. It also raises question mark over independence of election commission. Panchayat bodies are great source of power for the people of state. Being the voice of people at grass root, the Panchayat bodies’ plays critical role in the development process. By delaying the Panchayat election, the state government is virtually curtailing the rights of the ordinary citizens. This is against the spirit of democracy. State government should stop giving excuses for delaying Panchayat and Municipal elections. Only the early conduct of these two polls will restore democracy in true sense in the state.