Nitish Kumar faces protest by Bihar rural representatives

September 13th, 2012 - 7:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Sep 13 (IANS) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Thursday faced a protest by nearly 2,000 rural representatives from across the state against ‘high-handedness’ of officials and “rampant corruption” in implementation of development schemes at the village level, an official said.

The rural representatives, including the ‘mukhiyas’ (village heads) had gathered here to listen to Nitish Kumar for tips on good governance.

They protested after they were not allowed to express their views regarding the problems they face while dealing with district officials.

“What angered us that our simple plea to provide us an opportunity to express our genuine grievances about development at the ground level and our important role before Nitish Kumar was refused by some vested officials. We were forced to protest to draw attention,” said Ajay Singh, an elected rural representative.

Another rural representative, Lakshmi Devi said they have been totally neglected and ignored by officials in implementation of development schemes.

“We are treated badly by concerned officials and we have no say in development,” she said.

However, Nitish Kumar who has been praised for good governance in Bihar provided tips to the rural representatives at the state level training programme here.

He apprised them about their role and responsibilities and how to ensure good governance at the panchayat level.

The state government has decided to organise four days of training to all elected representatives of rural bodies next month.

According to panchayat department officials, training for rural bodies representatives was planned last year itself soon after panchayat polls in May 2011. But it was not held due to some technical reasons.

In Bihar, there are 8,442 village body heads, 8,422 sarpanches, 1,15,542 panchayat members, 1,15,542 panchses, 11,534 panchayat samiti members and 1,162 zilla parishad members.

In 2006, Bihar became the first state in India to give 50 percent reservation to women in the panchayats.

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