Newly elected sarpanches, panches take oath in Faridkot

Tribune News Service

Faridkot, January 11

Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi on Friday presided over the district-level function to administer oath to newly elected sarpanches, panches and Zila Parishad and Block Samiti members.

In a function held at the local grain market, Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi said today was a red-letter day in the annals of democracy that all the panches, sarpanches, Block Samiti and Zila Parishad members belonging to all the panchayats of district were taking oath of office. There would be no dearth of funds for the development of villages.

He said the Union Government, headed by the Congress, had passed a law pertaining to giving more rights to the panchayats in 1992. Giving an example of Seechewal village in Jalandhar and Sakkanwali village in Muktsar, the minister said both these villages had been developed as model villages by their respective panches and sarpanches.

In this ceremony, 243 sarpanches, 1,664 panches (elected in December 2018) and 10 Zila Parishad and 62 Panchayat Samiti members (elected in September 2018) were administered oath of secrecy.

Besides all district level officers and political leaders, the oath-taking ceremony was also attended by Faridkot MLA Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon. He was the special guest of the function.

Rana Sodhi said giving representation to women in the panchayats and the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) to the extent of more than 50 per cent, the state government had adhered to its commitment for uplift and betterment of women. In the last about two years, since the Congress had taken the reins in the state, approximately 1,400 acres of panchayat land had been freed from illegal encroachments and an increase of Rs 50 crore annually had been registered in the income from the auction of panchayat land.

He said the state government had started special functions to commemorate the 550th Gurpurb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He exhorted the people to take part in these functions in large numbers and spread the Guru’s message of universal brotherhood.

Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon congratulated the newly elected panchayat representatives, especially those elected unanimously. Rajbachan Singh Sandhu, SSP, Faridkot, elaborated in a comprehensive manner regarding the Drug Abuse and Prevention Officer (DAPO) programme being run by the Punjab Government against drugs.

Faridkot Deputy Commissioner Rajiv Prashar said the drug abuse sensitisation campaign had shown positive results and drug addicts were being treated in government health institutions. He said people should voluntarily come forward to help themselves to get rid of the drug menace from society. He said drug addiction was like a disease and it could be cured with the help of treatment being offered by medical science.