Aam Aadmi Party has demanded that the proposed amendments to the Panchayati Raj Act which the government has sought to pass without discussion in the assembly should be placed before the people. AAP has already taken a stand against amendments that will allow MLAs to attend gram sabhas. General Secretary of the party Pradeep Padgaonkar had recently said that legislators had cast an ‘evil eye’ on gramsabhas with a view to intimidate members into submission. Padgaonkar said that it was learnt that the Panchayat Raj Minister was bringing major amendments to usurp the powers of the Panchayats instead of devolving powers to the Panchayats thus making mockery of the 73rd amendment. It may be recalled that earlier the minister through a circular had tried to usurp Panchayats’ power to pass construction plans which following public outcry had to be withdrawn.
“There is perceived threat to Panchayat Raj Institutions through these unseen amendments which will be deemed as passed in the one day ‘mock session’. The opposition has been taken care of to agree with the undemocratic methods of passing legislative bills. So shouldn’t the people know what is going to affect them?” asked Padgaonkar