The ‘clouds’ of fresh Zilla Panchayat elections are ‘hovering’ over the state, but many voters in the Chimbel panchayat ‘do not seem to know’ their sitting ZP member.
Many villagers have expressed the desire to elect a local to the post as the previous one was “inaccessible” to them. The people, especially, in Indira Nagar area of Chimbel complained of not seeing the ZP member functioning, and added that they know their panchayat ward members.
They said that to be very frank and specific “we do not know who our Zilla Panchayat member is and from where he functions.”
The villagers complained that they have never seen him in the area, and added that the ZP member has done some development work like beautification of kabrastan and laying of pavers in the area.
A few others who know ZP member Sandeep Verenkar said that the former sarpanch of Merces had introduced him to the people and got him elected but now the people “do not want to elect him back as he didn’t do substantial development work in the area.”
Some others stated that “as no much fund is allotted to the Zilla Panchayat, the ZP members have a very little role in the development of the area and so fail to make their presence felt.”
Some villagers said, “The government wants to make the nation stronger and wants to bring grassroots- level leaders into politics. The ZP member should be a local. The sitting member was not available to us for our works being not the resident of the area.”
Majority of the villagers want the new Zilla Panchayat member to be a local and should be rubbing shoulders with them, accessible to them and keenly interested in developing the village. A group of residents said that they met the ZP member only once and was introduced by former Merces sarpanch the late Prakash Naik, and voted for him but since then he neither showed his face in the village.