BHUBANESWAR: Congress will raise the issue of non-implementation of mandate of the Constitution on transfer of power to panchayats by Odisha Government in the panchayat polls scheduled in February, 2017.
The issue was discussed at the manifesto committee of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) which met on Tuesday. The meeting, presided by OPCC president Prasad Harichandan, was attended by all the nine members besides general secretary of All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge Odisha BK Hariprasad, AICC secretary Subhonkar Sarkar and senior leaders.
The Congress manifesto for panchayats will be named ‘Jana Istahaar’ as the party has sought opinion from people across the State on what they expect from it.
The Odisha Government has transferred 27 of the 29 subjects in the 11th schedule of the Constitution to panchayats. The double standard of BJD will be exposed by the Congress during campaign for the panchayat polls, said chief spokesperson of Congress Ganeswar Behera.
BJD claims to have strengthened panchayati raj institutions, but real power has not been transferred to panchayats, Behera said.
Maintenance of drinking water has been transferred to panchayats but the decision to install tubewells is still taken by Rural Development Department, he said. Behera said the situation is similar in other subjects transferred to panchayats in which real power is exercised by Government departments.
It was also decided that meetings will be held at district level to seek opinion of all officials linked to panchayati raj institutions including Anganwadi workers and Asha karmis. The manifesto will be finalised after receiving inputs from general public and District Congress Committees at the second meeting which will be held after Dussehra.
Election committee meeting of the party was also held on the day to decide campaign issues. Congress has decided to field candidates in all 854 Zilla Parishad zones and go for seat adjustment at the local level with like-minded parties if possible.