Haryana’s main opposition Congress will not contest the upcoming panchayat elections on its symbol, former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Wednesday said after the state legislature party meeting here.
The panchayat polls are scheduled to be held in the state in September.
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Hooda, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the Haryana Assembly. State Congress chief Udai Bhan was also present in the meeting, a party statement said.
Hooda said the Congress MLAs held a detailed discussion over the Panchayat elections.
The Congress will not contest the panchayat elections on party symbol, he said.
The Congress leader also alleged that the government deliberately postponed the panchayat elections.
”Due to this, the development of villages came to a standstill and there was a lot of corruption in the absence of panchayat representatives,” he said.
”The Congress demands that rights of backward classes be ensured in the elections and they should be given the benefit of reservation,” he said.
Hooda said issues arising out of the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year on the shamlat land (common land) were discussed in detail in the party meeting.
”Now, the government has issued an order to transfer the land in the name of panchayats. This decision has led to an atmosphere of panic in the village because people have been living on these lands for many years and many have even sold the land further and hence it would not be right to evict them,” said Hooda.
Hooda demanded that government should call a special session of the Legislative Assembly and make changes in the Village Shamlat Land Consolidation Act.
On August 10, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had said in the state Assembly that as per Supreme Court’s directions, the mutation of the shamlat deh (common land) in the name of panchayats is not a cause of worry and aimed at stopping the illegal transfer of this land.
”We are only seeking mutation of such land in favour of the gram panchayats,” Khattar had said while asserting that mutation would not change the title.
In April, the Supreme Court had held that in respect of the land taken from the proprietors from their permissible ceiling limits under a Punjab law, it is the management and control alone which would vest with the panchayat and not the title.
] Hooda had last week demanded that the state government file a review petition in the apex court.
Hooda said that the party’s upcoming programmes have also been finalised in the meeting.
”It has been decided to postpone the ‘Vipaksh Aapke Samaksh’ program to be held in Yamunanagar on August 28. It will now be on September 11 as the Congress party is going to hold a ‘Halla Bol’ rally against inflation in Delhi on August 28. Haryana will have a strong participation in this,” he said.
Before the rally, a public awareness campaign will be launched against inflation across the state, he said.