Reservation for women in block councils triggers row

JAMMU: The decision of the J&K Government to reserve seats for the Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and women in the Block Development Councils (BDCs) has triggered a new controversy as elected panchayat members have opposed the procedure adopted to fix the quota.

Reservation for women in block councils triggers row

Voters at a polling booth during the panchayat elections. File Photo

editorial@tribune.com

nesh Manhotra

Tribune News Service

Jammu, July 17

The decision of the J&K Government to reserve seats for the Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and women in the Block Development Councils (BDCs) has triggered a new controversy as elected panchayat members have opposed the procedure adopted to fix the quota. They demanded that the quota should be on the basis of population ratio in respective blocks of different districts of the state.

“How can the post of the BDC chairperson in the Purmandal block be reserved for an ST woman when the population of the community is just 16.36 per cent in the block?” asked Joginder Kumar, sarpanch of the Purmandal panchayat. He said the reservation proposal had been drafted without going into the population ratio of different communities.

Comprising six panchayats, the Purmandal block has a total population of 12,692, including 2,076 STs, 3,362 SCs and 7,254 of the general category. “We have already filed an objection against the proposal of the authorities to reserve the Purmandal block for the ST category,” Joginder said.

Panchayat members of the Nud block are also up in arms against reserving the block for the SC category despite the fact that the population of the general category is nearly 59 per cent. “An objection in this regard has already been filed,” said Sunil Choudhary, sarpanch of Mananu panchayat, adding, “the provision of reservation should be made where population of the community is at least above 40 per cent”.

Notably, the government has drafted a proposal of reservation for women to head the BDCs in the panchayati raj institutions across the state.

Of the 314 BDCs across J&K, 108 have been reserved for women, including those belonging to SCs and STs, to politically empower the marginalised section of society.

The authorities had issued a notice for draft proposal for reservation of BDCs across J&K and objections had been sought from public. The draft reservation proposal has been made in pursuance of the provisions of Section 27(3) of the J&K Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, amended up to October, 2018.

‘Give quota as per population’

  • Of the 314 BDCs across J&K, 108 have been reserved for women, including those belonging to SCs and STs, to politically empower the marginalised section of society
  • Panchayat members have opposed the procedure adopted to fix the quota. They demanded that the quota should be on the basis of population ratio in respective blocks of different districts of the state

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