Panchayat polls : Re-election on 30,797 vacant posts
The maximum number of these vacant posts is constituted by the members of village Panchayats as out of total 55572 posts, 30663 would remain vacant. The Panchayats in thousands of villages of state would remain defunct.
The disinterest of the rural folks for the posts of the members of the village Panchayats has created a situation where thousands of the village Panchayats would fail to get constituted. As per the norms, for a village Panchayat to function, it should have at least two third of members. For example there should at least be five members in a village Panchayat which has seven members.
The Panchayats with less than two third members would cease to exist and village Pradhan would become redundant. Such Pradhans would have no administrative and financial powers. After end of the polling for all the three phases of Panchayat elections, a total of 30,797 posts out of total 66,397 posts in the three tier Panchayati Raj bodies would remain vacant. Interestingly 21,373 of these vacant posts are from the reserved categories.
The maximum number of these vacant posts is constituted by the members of village Panchayats as out of total 55,572 posts, 30,663 would remain vacant. Similarly out of total 7,485 posts of Village Pradhans, 124 would remain vacant. For 2,984 posts of member Block Panchayats, only 10 would remain vacant while there would be no vacant posts of the member district Panchayats. There are 356 posts of district Panchayat and considering the power they enjoy, they are most hotly contested positions.
After the state government decided to amend the Panchayati Raj act and incorporate two child norm and minimum education qualification criteria for all the positions of the three-tier Panchayati Raj bodies, it was widely believed that thousands of posts would remain vacant.
The amendment was challenged in the High Court (HC) which removed two child norm for the posts of member village Panchayats and Pradhans but the education qualification criteria persisted.
The maximum numbers of vacant positions are from reserved categories. The state election commission would now have to start the process of re-election to fill these vacant positions in the Panchayati Raj bodies.
This process is expected to start after November 30 as the Commission has decided to hold the elections for the indirectly elected posts of Block Pramukh, deputy block Pramukh, district Panchayat president and his deputy in the month of November.
When contacted, the State Election Commissioner, Chandrasekhar Bhatt said that the process of re-election on vacant seats would start after end of the current process.
He clarified that in absence of quorum, the village Panchayat concerned would cease to exist and the Pradhans of these Panchayats would have no financial and administrative powers.
Sunday, 20 October 2019 | PNS | Dehradun
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