ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Democratic Decentralisation at Stake

WEEKLYECONOMIC AND POLITICAL Democratic Decentralisation at Stake It was in December 1999 that the 87th Constitution amendment bill was introduced in parliament. In the statement of objects and reasons appended to the bill, the explanations offered for moving the bill are that (1) in the working of the 73rd Constitution amendment the elected members of the two higher levels of panchayats, at the block and district levels, have been found to have no substantive functions to perform; (2) the village and block level panchayats have no role in the election of the chairperson at the district level; and (3) there is no organic linkage between the three tiers of panchayats. The chairpersons of these panchayats are allegedly feeling deprived of any effective role, with different functionaries working at cross purposes. The statement of objects and reasons goes on to observe that panchayats face problems because there is no freedom for the states to determine how chairpersons of the block and district level panchayats are to be elected.

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