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A villager raises an issue during the gram sabha at Raia. Roque Dias | NT

‘High-command culture’ will intrude in panchayats with govt move: Raia villagers

MARGAO: Raia villagers, during the gram sabha held on Sunday, resolved to oppose the decision of the government to hold panchayat elections on party lines by carrying out an amendment to the Goa Panchayati Raj Act, 2004. They said the ‘high-command culture’ will intrude and chances of neutral candidates winning the elections at the grassroots level will be ruined.
Moving a resolution, the former sarpanch Xavier Fernandes pointed out that the decision to amend the Goa Panchayati Raj Act is in contravention to the Constitution Article 243 (g).
The gram sabha after debating the issue demanded resignation of the Panchayat Minister Laxmikant Parsekar over his ‘obnoxious’ idea of introducing such an amendment.
The locals said that this move will cause disharmony and enmity between the villagers and that political leaders would take control of panchayats.
Further, the panchayat members were grilled over the delay in collecting one month’s rent from those staying in rented premises in the village.
Peter Carvalho questioned the panchas and the sarpanch Isidor Rodrigues as to how the information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act contradicts with that of the panchayat which claimed Rs 43, 000 collected in the form of one month rent.
It was also resolved to write to the Town and Country Planning (TCP) over problems created by the occupants of a building at Arlem junction by releasing waste water onto the road, thereby causing inconvenience to the public.
The locals also resolved to seek apology from the local sports club for ignoring the panchayat despite using the panchayat ground for a match on August 5.
“The club insulted the panchayat by not mentioning the panchayat’s name on the tournament invitation card,” said Francis Colaco.
Sarpanch Rodrigues assured the gram sabha to complete the migrants survey by November. All eleven panchas were present for the meeting.

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