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Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra rules out plans to curtail powers of panchayat presidents

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Bengaluru: Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra on Tuesday clarified that the state government has no plans to curtail the powers of Panchayat Presidents and other members. Jnanendra today met Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and apprised him of the apprehension among a section of Panchayat members that their powers may be seized.

“Responding immediately, the chief minister dismissed the fear saying there was no such proposal to amend the Karnataka Gram Swaraj and Panchayat Raj Act,” the Home Minister said in a statement.

Jnanendra also noted that the Panchayat Raj institutions are the strong foundation of the democracy, and it has been contributing significantly to shape the future leaders of India.

“The state government is committed to strengthening the Gram Panchayat system and decentralisation of power,” he said.

According to sources close to the Home Minister, the Panchayat Raj department had proposed certain amendments to the Karnataka Gram Swaraj and Panchayat Raj Act-1993, including the one related to the services of Gram Panchayat employees.

The department had also proposed to entrust the Panchayat Development Officer, Accounts Assistant and Gram Panchayat Secretary with managing the finances of the Panchayat and not the elected representatives.

These proposals had led to speculations that the government wants to take away the powers of Panchayat presidents and other members.


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