A VILLAGE in Faridabad district has the distinction of electing its sarpanch unanimously — since 1952 when it last witnessed an election.
Pahladpur village has this time chosen Preeti Sardana (24) for the post. Panches, too, are selected with consensus here.
Explaining how the system works, Sant Ram, a resident of the village, says there are five mohallas in the village. The post of sarpanch is rotated among these five. “In every election, the elders in one mohalla are asked to propose a name for the post of sarpanch. They do so with consensus from others. In a similar manner, the name of the panch is also finalised. In this manner, each mohalla gets a chance to get a person from the area elected,” he says.
A panchayat is then held where a final decision on the name is taken. In case of any dispute over a name, it is resolved in the panchayat. Once a decision is taken by the panchayat, there is little scope for an amendment. Sant Ram says the elders in the village are respected and any decision they take is accepted.
The village is dominated by the Gujjar community. Barring two or three houses, all others belong to Gujjars. There are around 700 voters in the village. It is dotted with concrete roads, anganwari, a village chaupal and other facilities. Around 90 per cent of the village is literate with some having done graduation and even professional courses.
Preeti, who has studied up to Class 10, will formally be named the sarpanch on January 10 when the first phase of the panchayat election is scheduled to be held.
She says it was her great grandfather who was once the sarpanch. “It is after many years that the post has come to the family. Among the women I am the first. I received support from my family as well as the entire village. My priority would be to ensure development of the village. There is a problem of shortage of water here, which I want to solve. Focus would also be on education of the children of the village,” she said.
MLA Phool Chand Sharma says that while in other parts in the state, elections are fiercely contested, this is not the case with this village. “One of the reasons is that the villagers belong to one caste. All of them are Gujjars. They rotate the post of sarpanch among themselves, so there is no dispute,” said Sharma.