Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy has called upon all the opposition parties, NGOs and other public forums to launch a mass agitation against the proposed amendments in Panchayat Raj Act by TRS Government.
Speaking in an all party Round Table Conference at Press Club, Somajiguda on Saturday, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the TRS Government was bringing amendments in PR Act not to empower the local bodies, but to strip them of their powers and funds.
He said if TRS Government is allowed to do what it is intending, then the local body institutions would face a situation which would be worst than it was in erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh.
Uttam Kumar Reddy completely rejected the proposal of TRS Government to conduct indirect and party-less elections for Panchayat Raj institutions. He said that the Sarpanch elections should be direct and it should be conducted through ballot papers.
He said that the TRS Government had completely neglected the Gram Panchayats, Mandal and Zilla Parishads for the last four years and they were not given any share in nearly Rs. 5 lakh crore that was allocated in last four annual budgets.
The TPCC chief alleged that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao was crushing the democracy at all levels.
He said that the entire government was being run by just four members of a family while all Sarpanches, ZPTCs and MPTCs have been reduced to mere figure heads.
He also objected to conduct of elections in February and said that the present elected bodies should be allowed to complete their full term till August.
Uttam Kumar Reddy advised that all Gram Panchayats should pass a resolution on January 28 opposing the proposed amendments in PR Act.
TJAC Chairman Prof. M. Kodandaram, BC Welfare Association president and MLA R. Krishnaiah, CPI leader Chada Venkatreddy and other leaders also spoke in the round table conference.
TPCC to strengthen legal cell
Addressing the TPCC Legal Cell meeting at Gandhi Bhavan, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the party’s Legal, Human Rights and RTI Department would be strengthened further.
He asked Legal Department chairman C. Damodar Reddy to complete the nomination of incharges for all 119 Assembly constituencies and form district-wise cells by January 28.
He said that the legal cell should help the Congress party workers, in both courts and at police stations, in cases wherein they are being flasely implicated by the police.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Legal Dept should file PILs on issues concerning common man. For instance,
he said that the issue of naming of a government scheme after the Chief Minister should be taken to court. “Why should we have a scheme named “KCR Kits”? This could be “CM’s Kit” or something else.
KCR is not spending money from his pocket to provide kits to new born babies. Therefore, the scheme should not be named after KCR,” he said. Further, in a lighter vain, he added that people first witnessed the launch of “KCR Kids” and later “KCR Kits” were introduced.
The TPCC chief also advised the Legal Dept to keep guiding the TPCC leaders on how they should proceed on legal issues.
He asked whether disqualification could be sought for TRS MLAs who are enjoying office of profit as it happened with AAP MLAs in Delhi. Stating that the Chief Minister breaks the law more often than he follows it, he said that the Telangana was apparently the only State in the country where a defected MLA could join the cabinet and continue on this post without having any legal problem.
He said Assembly Speaker S. Madhudusudan Chary did not look into the disqualification petitions filed against the defected legislators.
In this scenario, he said that the role of party’s Legal Department increases. He assured that the Congress party, after coming to power in 2019, would recognise the services rendered by advocates and other members of Legal Cell.
Speaking on the occasion, AICC Telangana Incharge Secretary R.C. Khuntia said that the legal department should take an active part in State politics and keep an eye on violation of law and human rights by the TRS Government.
Legal Dept Chairman Damodar Reddy announced that the party would launch a free counselling centre for the party workers and general public on February 28.
Earlier in the day, the Legal Department held a protest demonstration at Mahatma Gandhi statue on the issue of Judge B H Loya’s mysterious death. (INN)