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As the assembly elections are over and the powers of president and vice-president in the village panchayats of the state will be completed by August, the countdown has started for the change of power. The changing reservation battle is a cause for curiosity.
The BJP government had fixed the tenure of Gram Panchayat President and Vice President for two and a half years. But it has also been heard that the current Congress government will fix it for 5 years. Elections to 6,028 gram panchayats of the state were held in December 2019. In March 2020, the selection of the President and Vice President was scheduled as a reservation.
Reservation process in July
The term of office of the present President Vice President is 30 months. The term of office will end on August 10 and the new president and vice president have to be sworn in. So the government is likely to complete the reservation process in July.
H.K. Patil’s tenure as Rural Development Minister was five years. Till 1985, there was no reservation for the post of president and vice president in panchayats. Some would have been permanent presidents by adjustment. Now there is 33% reservation for women to become panchayat members, it is said that as there are no SC and ST candidates, it will be up to 50% reservation for women.
The government is giving grants up to Rs 10 lakh per year to panchayats and other grants are available up to Rs 20 lakhs. Also, a grant of up to Rs 70 lakh will come from the 14th Finance Commission. Even so, it is being heard that it is only a strategy of the government giving in one hand and taking back in the other hand, because the government itself cuts the water supply, electricity bill arrears etc.
Village Panchayats like Old and Kemral near Suratkal are the 1st class panchayats set by the government on the basis of population and the number of 1st class panchayats in the state is 2 thousand. The number of panchayats in Dakshina Kannada district is about 238 and some panchayats are town panchayats.
For A grade panchayats, the government grant is sufficient. A PDO, who did not wish to be named, opined that it is possible to adjust the arrears of tax collection.
5 years is better than 2 and half years
It would be good if the term of office of Gram Panchayat President and Vice President is five years rather than two and a half years. Yashoda, President of Chelyaru Gram Panchayat of Dakshina Kannada, said that the work that has been obstructed can be completed due to this.
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