Patna, Aug. 28: Mukhiyas, or panchayat heads, are holding a panchayat adhikar rally at Gandhi Maidan on September 30 to press for empowering the state’s 8,442 panchayats.
The mukhiyas feel devolution of power has not taken place in Bihar and most powers still wrest with the lower bureaucracy. “We strongly feel that panchayat heads are ignored when delivering benefits of social welfare schemes. Earlier, we had power in implementation of these schemes but now all the power wrests with the block development and sub-divisional officers,” Bihar Pradesh Mukhiya Mahasangh president Priyadarshani Shahi said.
Shahi further said, “At present, gram sabhas do not play any role in implementing government schemes like MNREGA, pension, preparing BPL list. District and state-level bureaucrats take part in this.” A five-member delegation met panchayati raj minister Bhim Singh on Tuesday, but the meeting was not fruitful. That is why they are organising the rally.
But the panchayati raj minister told The Telegraph: “We have done so much for panchayati raj institutions. Instead of an adhikar rally, they better organise a thanks-giving rally for the state government.” He further said, “I think our department is doing all possible work to strengthen gram sabhas. We are considering their demands but they should not blame the state government over devolution of power.”
He said the government was looking into their demands and they should call off their rally.