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All issues of DDCs resolved amicably: Govt

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LG meets DDC delegation, assures full support; however, members hope their demands would be met with

Jammu/Srinagar: Reiterating his government’s commitment to safeguarding the interests of DDC representatives, the Lt Governor today observed that the three-tier Panchayati Raj system was established to empower the grass-root democracy.

“Now, the true democracy is flourishing in the UT, which is not merely about governance but feeling of fraternity, brotherhood, and attitude of respect and reverence towards each other; we have to work together to meet the developmental aspirations of the people. The administration will ensure the three-tier Panchayati Raj system is strengthened in the UT,” the LG told the District Development Council (DDC) members who met him today.

The delegation which met the LG comprised of DDC chairpersons, vice-chairpersons, and members including Bharat Bhushan, Saraf Singh Nag, Bari Andrabi, Irfan Panditpuri, Nuzhat Ishfaq, Tazeem Akhter, Malik Aftab, Juhi Manhas, Dr. Shamshad Shah, TS Tony, Shahnawaz, Suleman Mir, and Riyaz Bhat, an official spokesperson said.

BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary, PDD and  Information Department, and Sheetal Nanda, Secretary, Department of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj were also present during the interaction.

Even as a government spokesperson said that “all issues have been resolved amicably” following today’s meeting, local news agency KNO quoted the DDC chairperson Kupwara, and senior Peoples Conference leader, Irfan Sultan Panditpuri as saying that they are hopeful that all their demands would be met with.

“The meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere. The LG assured that all our genuine demands would be addressed,” he said.

It is worth mentioning that DDC members had staged protests and en-masse boycotted a training programme at Jammu to protest against the protocol and honorarium announced for them.

The DDC chairperson from Budgam, Nazir Ahmad Khan, according to news agency KNS said “since the LG is himself from a political background, they are hopeful that a proper solution will be found and justice will be done with them.”

While expressing anguish against the bureaucracy, he said that the “bureaucracy here has been the biggest villain for democracy. They are trying to keep LG away from reality and destroying the public- government relationship.”

He said that they are elected people and bureaucrats are trying to make them slaves. “Our status has been downgraded to class 4th employees.”

He also said that they had been called for a training programme in Jammu on March 9 and 10. “After reaching Jammu, we were kept in private hotels and arrangement for food was at some other place….”

He said that later in the evening they came to know that government has fixed protocols for elected DDC members, — and that the “MoS status as was promised to us was nowhere ….”

“Look at the Hill Council of Ladakh, they are enjoying the MoS status, similarly Mayors are enjoying the same powers,” Khan said.

He said “the other tragedy is that the District Development Board has been converted into District Development Council, Planning Board into Planning Committee and an MP will be its chairman.

“I don’t know what’s our role left there if an MP will be its chairperson. This new protocol is a complete joke with us,” he added.

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