In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, in another move to further decentralize IIOJK territory and deprive local politicians and institutions of the say, if any, the Modi-led fascist Indian government has amended the J&K Panchayati Raj Act 1989.
In order to pave the way for replacement of District Development Boards by District Development Councils (DDCs), each district will be divided into 14 territorial constituencies for which elections will be held, and the winners will elect a chairperson and a vice-chairperson from amongst themselves. The councils will replace the District Development Boards, which before revocation of IIJ&K’s special status, were chaired by a minister or a minister of state.
Political observers are of the view that the amendment is essentially aimed at disempowering the IIJ&K assembly and the resultant administration.
Reacting to the move, People’s Democratic Party leader Naeem Akhtar said this would spell the end of politics. He added, “The aim is total depoliticisation so that there is no central collective voice. It is to cut to size the people of Jammu and Kashmir so that they don’t have a political voice. The aim is to sub-divide, overlap, create layer after layer so that nobody would know who is in charge. In such a scenario, the ultimate arbiter would be bureaucrat and the security set-up”.
Another leader of the PDP, Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra said that this is a step towards uprooting politics in the name of development, adding if New Delhi is sincere, why it has taken away the right to legislate. He further said that New Delhi empowers everyone and everything that’s against the idea of political empowerment.
Shafiq Mir, the Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference, said, “The move will have an Assembly member just a spectator in the DDC meeting. He will not have any say.”—KMS