Hyderabad: There is a rush to become special officers for gram panchayats when their term ends later this week.
With no possibility of conducting elections due to the pending cases in the High Court, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has decided to appoint special officers from August 1.
Government staff including headmasters of schools are vying to become special officers as they will get a chance to lead the panchayat and spend funds for development activities.
Ruling party MLAs and ministers are choosing candidates of their choice for these posts.
With Assembly elections fast approaching the ruling party is ensuring that their supporters are at the helm of affairs in all gram panchayats so that party’s interests could be protected in the election year.
As per norms, only staff of the gazetted officer level should be appointed special officers.
But as the state does not have gazetted officers to for all 12,751 gram panchayats, the government is willing to appoint non-gazetted officers as special officers.
Aspirants are running around ministers, ruling party MPs, MLAs and MLCs, seeking their recommendations for special officer posts.
Aspirants with political ambitions feel that this will serve as a launching pad for their political career, if they become special officers.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has decided to sanction `1 crore to each district barring Hyderabad to take up development activities in gram panchayats.
With this, `30 crore funds will be at the disposal of special officers to spend on development programmes.
Ministers and ruling party leaders are sending the list of their candidates to district collectors for approval. After collector’s approval, they will be appointed as special officers.
With chances of holding elections for gram panchayats before the 2019 polls looking remote, these special officers will play a key role in gram panchayats in the election year and will have a term till the new government takes over after 2019 polls and takes a decision to hold elections.