Panchayats in Arunachal cease to function; Arunachal Congress calls for PR

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ITANAGAR, JUNE 2: The 3-tier Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in Arunachal Pradesh have ceased to function from May 31, according to an official communique here. In a circular issued to Deputy Commissioners of districts, Secretary Panchayati Raj, Arunachal Pradesh, Bidol Tayeng informed that the term of the present Panchayati Raj Institutions (2013-18) in the State expired on May 31.
“Since the State could not hold the Panchayati Raj election in time due to certain constitutional issues, there will be no institution of PRI in the State with effect from June 1 till reconstitution of the PRIs after the next election,” informed the Secretary.
“While Govt is working to frame new Panchayati Raj Rules in conformity with ‘The Arunachal Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Act, 2018’, an institutional mechanism to discharge function of Panchayati Raj Institutions during transition period has been worked out by the Govt. The copy of the notification on the institutional mechanism is being forwarded to you (DCs) soon,” read the circular.
The State Assembly had in March passed ‘The Arunachal Pradesh Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2018’ to have 2-tier Panchayati Raj system, thereby removing the Anchal Samitis at intermediate level, in consonance with Article 243(B) of the Constitution (Amendment) Act, 1992.
Meanwhile, reacting to the State Government’s reported move to appoint Head Gaon Burahs (HGBs) and GBs as ex-officio chairperson and members at village level in place of GP Chairpersons and GPMs, the All Arunachal Pradesh Panchayat Parishad (AAPPP) said that the Government proposal “goes against the constitutional spirit.” It also said HGBs and GBs are appointed by the State Government to head Kebangs to settle various local disputes at village level but not for developmental activities.
Further mentioning that PRIs function as the window for flow of Central funds, the AAPPP insisted, the sitting incumbents should be allowed to continue or PRI elections to 2-tier system should be conducted forthwith.
Strongly criticizing the Pema Khandu Government for the delay in conducting panchayat polls and alleging of deteriorating law and order condition, the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has demanded immediate imposition of President’s Rule in the state.
APCC criticized the state Government for the decision to defer the panchayat polls even after the term ended on Monday. Also alleging of a serious breakdown in law and order condition in the state, claiming that instances of theft, murder, rape, kidnapping and drug smuggling are on the rise, APCC asked Khandu to take moral responsibility and step down as the Chief Minister.
“The Panchayati Raj Secretary and the Special Secretary have issued separate and contradictory notifications regarding dissolution of the panchayati raj system in the state. This has confused the masses. Even after announcement of Itanagar and Pasighat municipal polls, the municipal and panchayat elections were cancelled. All of this has turned the Government into a laughing stock,” APCC vice-president Minkir Lollen said in a statement here.
“Municipal polls cancellation was based on forecast of heavy monsoon rains that could cause landslides and disrupt communication. But municipal polls have been held smoothly back in 2013 even in far-flung locations and border villages,” Lollen added.
The party also slammed Khandu for his comment at Geku on Wednesday where the Chief Minister said the party would win all 60 seats in the 2019 Assembly polls. Ridiculing Khandu for the statement, APCC said the BJP Government will not be able to complete its full term in office till 2019. Further attacking the state Government for its “tall claims” and “false promises”, APCC said there has been no development in the state except the Trans-Arunachal Highway which was also a project engineered by the UPA Government. (Courtesy: AT & TNN)