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Uttam threatens mass agitation against changes in PR Act

Hyderabad,  Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president  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 onJanuary 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.

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