THE CPI(ML) Bihar State unit organized a Panchayat Representatives’ Conference to welcome the newly elected panchayat representatives and discuss their work and the direction it should take. CPI(ML) State and district committee members and activists also attended the conference. CPI(ML) General Secretary Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya was the main speaker at the conference.
Addressing the convention, CPI(ML) Politburo member Com. Dhirendra Jha said that panchayats are supposed to be a tool for decentralization, but they have instead become agents for implementing the decisions of the State governments. They have no rights to take policy decisions, and even where they do make decisions, there is no participation or monitoring by the people. Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya said that the Party has started a new tradition in people’s representatives—Com. Ram Naresh Ram, Com. Mahendra Singh, and Com. Shah Chand are representatives of this tradition. In this tradition, people’s representatives must raise their voice on all people’s problems and issues. The Bihar State Secretary Com. Kunal said that it is the responsibility of the Party not only to monitor the work of the Mukhiya and other panchayat representatives, but also to play a leading role in resisting the dominance of feudal and dominant forces, bureaucrats and officials at the panchayat level.
Speaking at the conference, victorious panchayat representatives from the party (Pappu Kumar, Jaiprakash Paswan, Susheela Devi, Sohila Gupta, Madan Singh and others) said that they would form “Monitoring Committees” to ensure people’s participation in decision-making and implementation. They would not limit themselves to conventional issues but would take up issues like gairmajrua land, sharecroppers’ identity cards etc. They would also take up health and education issues in the village and work to end corruption and loot in all welfare schemes. The conference was also addressed by MLA Com. Sudama Prasad, Kisan Mahasabha General Secretary Com. Rajaram Singh and AIPWA General Secretary Com. Meena Tiwari.