'Soon Constitutional status to panchayat in J&K' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Soon Constitutional status to panchayat in J&K'

india Updated: Apr 26, 2012 22:42 IST

To quell "rumours" about the uncertainty over establishment of a powerful panchayati raj system in Jammu and Kashmir, chief minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday said the government would soon bring a legislation to provide constitutional status to panchayats.

"In order to do away with all rumours and speculations being circulated by some people regarding the establishment of a powerful panchayat system in the state, we will provide constitutional guarantee to the powers conferred on the panchayats," Omar said.

A relevant legislation in this regard will be brought into force, he said.

Omar was addressing a public meeting at Poonch.

"It was not easy to break the 35-year-long lull that had engulfed the restoration of panchayat system in the state," he said adding that his government has made it possible to constitute panchayats.

He said the system would be strengthened further by the constitution of block and district bodies.

The chief minister said the four seats in Legislative Council are reserved for panchayats adding that the election to these is to be conducted by the Election Commission of India.

He said decks have been cleared for holding the election of MLCs reserved for panchayat which would follow constitution of block and district panchayat councils.

Services of 14 government departments have been conferred to panchayats besides providing financial support of Rs. 40 crore.

Criticising Peoples Democratic Party for its "negative" politics, the chief minister said its leadership does not like to see sea-change brought about by the coalition government in the state on development, peace and political fronts.

"They have covered their eyes with black glasses as they do not want to see the brightness of positivity and progress visible on ground to everyone," he said.