Pledging to empower local-self government institutions, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Monday said his government will hold elections to these bodies soon to guarantee devolution of powers to the principal stakeholders at the grassroots level. He said it was a travesty of justice that elections to these vital organs of democracy were delayed at one pretext or the other. “Only a few people get elected to the Legislative Assembly while local-self government institutions provide opportunity to a large number to represent people in a democracy,” he said. Mufti Sayeed said this while participating in a discussion in the Legislative Council today on a clubbed question regarding Panchayati Raj Institutions, raised by MLC Ghulam Nabi Monga. Promising people to make them equal partners in the state’s development mission, the Chief Minister said he is committed to transfer power from the high offices to the people on the ground. “The electoral rolls are being revised and I assure you that elections will be held very shortly,” he said, while describing powerful local bodies as a precursor to state’s real development. Asserting his government’s resolve to transfer powers to the District Development Boards, the Chief Minister quoted Mahatma Gandhi who had described villages and towns as the real pillars of strength of a government. He said the state needs to take a leaf out of the functioning of municipal corporations in other big metros like Mumbai, which are functioning as vibrant self-sustaining institutions.
2015 Kashmir Despatch