A day after the stupendous victory in five-state elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for villages to exemplify and demonstrate conviction in democracy by ensuring unanimous elections at the panchayats.
“We have observed enmity growing between families during the time of panchayat elections. That is not the case during the Assembly polls or Lok Sabha polls. Our villages should exemplify democratic disposition by having complete consensus for elected members,” Prime Minister said, pointing at Vinoba Bhave’s concept of ‘Sarvoday’ for development of villages.
He stated that Gujarat has seen several such local bodies — Samras Panchayats, where elections were held unanimously. In a Samras Panchayat, the leader and members of village panchayats are chosen by consensus and not elected through elections (ostensibly to avoid bitterness between different party-based groups). Such panchayats that avoid elections are given financial incentives.
Modi addressed a gathering of about 1.5 lakh Panchayati Raj representatives from across the State at a public gathering at the GMDC Ground in Ahmedabad on Friday.
On Friday morning, the Prime Minister started his two-day visit to Gujarat, his home state, which goes to the polls in December this year.
Massive crowds had gathered along the 9-kilometre stretch between Ahmedabad airport and State BJP headquarter Sri Kamalam in Gandhinagar, as Modi travelled in an open jeep waving to the cheerful crowds welcoming their son-of-the-soil amidst 'Jai Shree Ram' and 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' chants.
BJP supporters termed this a mega celebration to mark the ruling party's stupendous performance in the four State elections, results for which were announced yesterday.
In his address to the Panchayati Raj representatives — the Prime Minister urged them to work out a solution for conservation of energy, water and soil by means of different projects at the village levels, such as check-dams, natural farming and the use of LED lamps at home and public places.
Gujarat has three-tier Panchayati Raj structure, with 33 district panchayats, 248 taluka panchayats and over 14,500 gram panchayats.
During his two-day visit, PM Modi will inaugurate the 'Khel Mahakumbh' sporting event at a stadium in Ahmedabad and address the first convocation of Rashtriya Raksha University located at Lavad in Gandhinagar district as its chief guest.
Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister held a closed-door meeting with the elected representatives including Members of Parliament, Members of Legislative Assembly, local body representatives and the senior party leaders at the State party headquarters.
This set the poll preparations rolling for the BJP's heartland.
On the second day in Gujarat, the Prime Minister will deliver the first Convocation address of the Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU) as the Chief Guest. Also later in the day on Saturday, Modi will declare open the 11th Khel Mahakumbh.