JAMMU: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today said that strengthening of panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir was necessary to bring peace to the state.
"I want to tell you that if you want peace in Jammu and Kashmir, it can be brought by Panchayati Raj because it is the grass-root level democracy in a state," Rahul said while addressing members of panchayats and corporators at a conference here.
"Unless and until we empower the members of the panchayats, peace can never return to Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
"You have a feeling that the work has not been done to empower you under Panchayati Raj. Perhaps yes. It was also reflected in statements of two or three persons here today that they did not get their rights," he said.
Rahul said that if voted to power in the state, Congress would strengthen the Panchayati Raj institution and fulfil the demands of the people of the state.
"These are bigger battles that cannot be resolved in a day and take time... You have a bigger role in Jammu and Kashmir's politics and governance," he told the gathering of panchayats' members and corporators.
The convention was also addressed by JKPCC chief G A Mir and coordinated by senior vice president Sham Lal Sharma.