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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Bureaucrats see DDC members as threat, will never facilitate democracy in Kashmir: Sajad Lone

Amid protests by newly elected members of district development councils in Jammu and Kashmir, Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone on Tuesday said that bureaucrats will never facilitate democracy and they will see any elected member as a threat to them.

Lone tweeted that the protocol and powers given to the newly elected DDCs were a disappointment and humiliation for them.
“DDC protocol powers disappointment – humiliation. The problem is the new stakeholder created by the union Govt post-August 5- BUREAUCRAT Ever powerful. He/she will never facilitate democracy. Will see anybody elected by people as a threat. This is a simple analysis. And no rocket science,” he tweeted.

Earlier, all the members of district development councils in Jammu & Kashmir staged protests against the government’s orders about their honorarium and protocol at Jammu where they all had gathered to attend a training program organized by the Rural Development Department.

Other political parties including the BJP, the Congress, and the CPI (M) came out in support of the agitating DDC members and urged Lt Governor Manoj Sinha to ensure they have adequate powers to mobilise government departments and address public grievances.

The maiden DDC elections to 280 seats – 14 each in 20 districts – were held in November-December last year and the chairpersons and their deputies in all the 20 districts were elected last month.

The DDC members staged the protest after the administration amended its warrant of precedence, placing the DDC chairpersons equivalent to administrative secretaries, vice-chairpersons to vice-chancellors of universities, and the DDC members to district magistrates.

The members, affiliated with political parties including the BJP, the NC, the Congress, the PDP, the CPI(M), the Peoples Conference, the Peoples Movement, and independents from across the region, gathered as per the schedule at the Convention Centre in Jammu for the training program to be inaugurated by the Lt Governor.

However, they boycotted the program and staged the protest in the lawns against the administration demanding better protocol and monthly honorarium, including ministerial status for the DDC chairperson and minister of state (MoS) status for vice-chairpersons.

The protest continued till late afternoon, forcing the administration to put off the training program as repeated attempts by senior government functionaries failed to persuade the agitating members.

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