BANGALORE: In a step that would bring in drastic changes in rural administration, the state government is planning to bring in a system where gram panchayat presidents are elected directly by the people for a period of five years.
To begin with, the government had asked the Dharwad-based Centre for Multi Disciplinary Research (CMDR) to submit its report after studying the pros and cons of the proposed changes, within one month.
Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Jagadish Shettar told reporters on Tuesday that the demand for direct elections to the gram panchayat president’s post has been there for a long time. But it has now become necessary to consider this seriously since there are growing incidents of scuttling GP presidents’ tenure owing to local understandings, he added.
At present, the GP president is elected for a period of 30 months. However, this period is being shared by two-three members owing to local understanding. The tendency of bringing a no- confidence motion has also increased of late. As a result, there is uncertainty at the grass-roots level too.
States like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh elect GP presidents directly.
In another decision, the government has set up a five-member committee headed by Dr Mahendra Kanthi to suggest ways for delimitation of gram panchayats.