Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Subrata Mukherjee on Tuesday defended the state governments decision to dissolve Zilla Parishad boards saying a serious stalemate was created after the 2011 Assembly polls as the district council boards had lost majority in most cases.
The standing committees of council boards have become defunct in many districts and the rural development work has come to a standstill,forcing the government to vest the financial powers with the district magistrates, the minister said in the Assembly today.
Mukherjee further added the government notification in this regard was issued after Left-ruled board in Zilla Parishads failed to establish majority in the standing committee. In such a situation,the state government empowered district magistrate to spend fund to ensure that the Central fund meant for development works is not returned,said Mukherjee and added the state government is empowered by the Panchayat Act to do so. Nothing has been done illegally, he asserted.
This did not pacify the Opposition Left Front,particularly the CPM who had been running most of the district councils,and they staged a walkout. These are elected democratic institutions and cannot be dissolved like this, said Surya Kanta Mishra,Leader of the Opposition. He said the governments action was more reprehensible because the House was in session and such a drastic and unprecedented move did not come to the knowledge of the House.
Congress MP from Behrampore,Adhir Chowdhury,also criticised the government saying such a move is an act of infringement of elected rural bodies.