Lashing out at the Jammu and Kashmir government for its failure to empower Panchayats with 73rd amendment and for discriminating with Jammu region in providing model villages, Opposition parties today triggered ruckus and staged a walkout from the Legislative Assembly.
During the Question Hour in the Assembly, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) members Jugal Kishore Sharma and Ashok Khajuria raised the issues of security and empowerment of Panchayats by incorporating 73rd amendment of the Indian Constitution in the state and questioned state government's failure in implementing it.
Unsatisfied by the reply of minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Ali Mohammad Sagar, the BJP members held protests and later staged a walkout from the House.
"We have raised the issue of incorporation of 73rd amendment of Panchayati Raj Act in the state in order to empower the panchayats in decision making and financial matters-- but the government has failed to empower them till now", Jugal told reporters outside Assembly.
While the Panchayats are fully empowered in rest of the country with financial and decision making powers and they are directly funded by the Centre, however, J&K Panchayats have been deprived of such facilities, Jugal said.
"The government has ignored our demand for reply on the issue of empowerment of panchayats as they are not keen to empower this institution", he said adding "they have not also been provided security as they become targets of the militants".
Earlier replying to a question of JKNPP member Harshdev Singh, Sagar said the government has already announced renumeration to sarpanches at the rate of Rs. 2000 per month and sitting fee of panches at the rate of of Rs. 300 per sitting upto maximum monthly amount of Rs. 600.
Ruckus amid sloganeering erupted in the House over discrimination with Jammu region in setting up of model villages in the state.
JKNPP member Harshdev Singh, BJP member Jugal Kishore Sharma and JSM member Ashwani Kumar raised the issue of discrimination with the Jammu region in failure to grant them equal number of model villages, as Jammu region has got two model villages compared to 11 in Kashmir valley.
They demanded that the Jammu region should be given its due in grant of model villages.
As the members sought reply from the government, Sagar told the House that presently there is no scheme in the department for development of model villages under the state sector.
"There is a grave discrimination with Jammu region in setting up of model villages. There are only two model villages set up in Jammu region as compared to 11 in Kashmir valley", Singh told reporters.
"This is a total discrimination and we cannot tolerate it-- government has failed to provide us reply on this issue", he said adding that there is Rs. seven to eight crore given to set up the model villages in the state.
Speaking to reporters, JSM member Ashwani Kumar said "we had sought reply from the government but government failed to fail to reply over the query of discrimination in model villages so we staged a walkout".
Singh also demanded early elections to Block Development Councils (BDCs).