ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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PDS Reform

Kerala Panchayati Raj Bill THE Kerala Panchayati Raj Bill that is being sent to a Select Committee this week, and is expected to be passed by the state legislature by April 20, proposes in effect to centralise power in the hands of officials at the state level, instead of decentralising it among the people as has been intended all along since panchayati raj institutions were accepted in principle, more than three decades ago, as the foundation for political and economic decentralisation in India. This is an astonishing distortion, indeed travesty, of the ideals that have guided this country since Mahatma Gandhi began to lead the freedom movement. Precisely for that reason, the present effort in Kerala, under the auspices of a government led by the Congress Party, has to be countered and defeated by organising and mobilising public opinion within the state to the ex- tent possible in the next three weeks.

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