Empower Panchayat bodies

The issue of the devolvement of power to Panchayat bodies of the state is once again at the forefront. Recently, the Panchayat leaders of Papum Pare district expressed deep resentment over the failure of the state government to devolve power to the Panchayat Raj Institution. The leaders appealed to the government to immediately clarify whether they want to devolve power to the Panchayat or not. The issue raised by Panchayat leaders needs patient hearing. Technically, the Panchayat bodies of state have not been truly empowered by the successive governments.

The present BJP government has further clipped the wings. First of all, they changed the PRI from a three-tier to a two-tier system. The election itself was delayed for more than a year. On several occasions, Chief Minister Pema Khandu has assured to devolve power to the Panchayat bodies. It is time for him to walk the talk and fulfil the promises.

The Panchayat leaders are also elected and there are huge expectations from them. At the grass-root level, they are the ones who remain in touch with the people. Not every person has access to MLAs and ministers. The villagers most of the time seek redressal of their problems from the Panchayat leaders.

The Panchayat bodies should be empowered and made part of the governance in the true sense. They can play a crucial role in ensuring that development perks indeed reach every nook and corner of the rural areas.