AP govt weakening gram panchayats by diverting funds: Purandeswari

VIJAYAWADA: BJP state president Daggubati Purandeswari has lashed out at the state government, saying it is weakening the gram panchayat system by diverting their funds and hampering the developmental works in the villages across AP.

She was taking part in the state-wide agitation by the BJP to protest against the ‘diversion’ of funds meant for gram panchayats, at the district collectorate venue in Ongole in Prakasam district on Thursday.

Purandeswari alleged that the village sarpanchs were reduced to the role of nominal heads with no funds in their hands. In contrast, some of those who borrowed money and spent it on providing amenities in villages committed suicide as they were unable to repay the debt. She said the state government was subjecting them to such misery.

In Vijayawada, supporters of the BJP and its ally Jana Sena along with their village sarpanchs took part in the agitation at Dharna Chowk. The party also held a rally.

Former minister Sujana Chowdhary dwelt at length on how the YSRC government hurt the gram panchayats. Chowdhary alleged that the Chief Minister was earning crores of rupees through the sand, land and liquor mafia.

He said that the Centre took note of the diversion of gram panchayat funds by the AP government and would order an inquiry. A central task force was likely to visit AP to probe the issue, he said.

AP sarpanchs’ association president Rajendra Prasad said the gram panchayats lacked funds. The financial condition of 12,989 villages was miserable with no developmental works and amenities. Jagan Mohan Reddy diverted '8,664 crore sanctioned to the gram sarpanchs by the Centre, and used this for other purposes, he alleged.

In West Godavari district headquarter Bhimavaram, Tadepalli rural mandal Arugolanu gram sarpanch Peethala Buchibabu said he was elected as sarpanch with the support from Jana Sena. Sarpanchs were humiliated, he said, and then in a dramatic response, he slapped himself with his shoe. He said he repented for the support he had extended in the past for the victory of the YSRC.

In Visakhapatnam, BJP national secretary Satya Kumar led the BJP agitation. Large numbers of supporters of BJP and Jana Sena took part in the agitation in Eluru, Kakinada, Rajamahendravaram and other parts of the state.

In Tirupati, heated arguments erupted between the police and the BJP and Jana Sena supporters. At a few places, mild tension prevailed as the police took several supporters of the BJP and Jana Sena into preventive custody for short durations.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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