Low turnout at panchayat members’ oath-taking

Harshraj Singh
Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, January 11

Despite the fact that the oath-taking ceremony was mandatory, a number of newly elected panches, sarpanches, members of Panchayat Samiti and Zila Parishad were absent during the ceremony at Sports Stadium in Kila Raipur on Friday.

Though the government had reserved 50 per cent posts of sarpanches, panches and members of Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti for women, but a number of women members did not attend the swearing-in ceremony. In several rows, chairs were lying vacant while some elected members were seen leaving the ground even before oath was taken.

A few members also claimed that the time for the ceremony was 1 pm but the event began around 3 pm.

Cabinet Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa also pointed out the low attendance of elected women. He said apparently, around 20 per cent women appeared for the oath taking ceremony.

The relatives of several elected members had also visited the stadium to witness the oath taking ceremony.

Deputy Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Agrawal had on Thursday stated that it was compulsory for the newly elected panches/sarpanches/Panchayat Samiti And Zila Parishad members to take oath during a function. He had urged them to attend the ceremony at any cost.

It is required to mention that arrangements were made for swearing in ceremony for 941 Sarpanches, 6,391 Panches, 236 elected members of Panchayat Samiti Zones and 25 members of different Zila Parishad Zones.

Stalls of villages

The stalls highlighting the development works in various villages were set up at the stadium during the oath taking ceremony. One of the stalls highlighted the success story of Landa village where a project has been set up to make manure from waste from houses. Besides, the development works under MGNREGA were highlighted at a stall of Sudhar. Notably, sports park, anganwadi centres and other development works in various villages were also highlighted.

Stadium turns trash ground

The famous sports stadium of Kila Raipur turned into a trash ground during the swearing-in ceremony for newly elected panches, sarpanches, members of Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti. The litter was seen scattered in the absence of bins for the collection of waste. Meal boxes were distributed among the participants but a majority of them threw them in the open before the oath ceremony began. “In absence of bins, people started throwing waste on the ground where the newly elected members had to take the oath,” said an elected panchayat member.

Minister points out low attendance of women 

Cabinet Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa also pointed out the low attendance of elected women. He said apparently, only around 20 per cent women appeared for the oath-taking ceremony.