Modi government finished Panchayati Raj system: Congress

New Delhi: Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan on Tuesday, the Congress party said the Modi government has systematically finished the Panchayati Raj System by starving Panchayats of funds.

The party urged the Prime Minister to stop invoking Mahatma Gandhi’s name in his “fake jumlas” and stop fooling the people by renaming schemes. It pointed out that Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyan had now been rechristened as the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan.

“During the last four years Narendra Modi government has systematically annihilated the entire Panchayati Raj System in the country by starving the panchayats of funds and making them beggars before respective state governments,” said Congress spokesperson P.L. Punia.

“By discontinuing the centrally-sponsored Schemes, like Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF) and de-capacitating schemes like MNREGA, Rajiv Awas Yojana, Anganwadi and National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), the Modi government ensured that the Panchayati Raj institutions do not have any funds,” he said.

“The government, for all practical purposes, shut down the Ministry of Panchayati Raj by draining it of any substantive budgetary allocations.”

According to him, the Modi government and many Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled states have failed to bring about any incremental legislation that could ensure 50 per cent reservation for women.

“Regressive legislations in Rajasthan and Haryana with regard to educational qualifications only ended up ensuring that already marginalised people became ineligible from contesting elections on grounds of insufficient qualification,” said the Congress leader.