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Politics of administrative units
By Wali Mohammad Sheikh
The NC-Congress alliance headed by Omar abdullah as chief minister has been in news from the last a few days for proposal to create new administrative units of sub divisions, tehsils, C D blocks, niabats and patwar halqas besides rationalization of various administrative units in Jammu and Kashmir. This is happening in the last leg of this government's tenure. The step is indeed a forward movement though inordinately belated in taking the administration to the doorsteps of the aspiring people living in farflung and inaccessible areas who for even very petty matters have to cover and trudge a long distance to approach the authorities for the purpose of solving their problems. The belated move atleast may lay a foundation for working on it further by the next government in terms of arranging finance, infrastructure on the basis of well laid out policy of the present government.

It is also appreciable that on the insistence of Congress party as the alliance partner, an attempt is being made to make the Ganai commission report of 2011 rather inclusive to serve the political purpose of some influential ministers. Hence the cabinet sub committee, comprising of ministers from both Congress and NC and MLAs of all the constituencies, constituted for the purpose, would have taken the view of all the concerned stakeholders in all the three regions- Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

However, since the delimitation report was submitted by the Ganai commission about more than 3 years back in 2011 the inordinately belated move by the government now at the fag end of its tenure appears to be more an election stunt so as to take political mileage out of it just before a few months of the conduct of the parliamentary and assembly election. Besides, the government has yet to spell out the source of funds for infrastructure in terms of availability of land, construction of building, supporting staff and its salary, equipment etc so that people are apprised about the development in detail for their analysis, viewpoint, objection if any and so on and so forth. Is the tax payers money used for conduct of meetings and allied things in this connection at different places in all the three regions on ministers, MLAs et al is being utilised effectively?

Keeping in view the above background the main opposition party i.e.PDP's argument holds water that a special assembly session may be held to thrash out the issue exhaustively so as to consensually arrive at the areas for decentralisation of the administrative units, rationalisation of existing administrative units, source of funds for the creation/ reorganisation of administrative units and other related issues in its agenda.

The absence of holding of such a special meeting of the assembly would construe to mean failure of democratic system in respect of such momentous issues in the state, thereby leading to the conclusion that the move of creating/reorganisation of the administrative units is farcical and is a manoeuvre to serve petty political purpose of garnering the votes from gullible people of the state in the upcoming elections. However, the people are not so gullible as not to understand the manipulative politics of the government as they already know fully well the fate of Panchayat election where as yet the requisite power, authority and funds are to flow to the panchayats elected by the people a few years back. They also know that the conduct of election of the other two tiers of panchayat and local bodies has not been conducted and the state as such has lost a huge amount of money for the developmental purpose from the central government .

The government is, therefore, constitutionally and statutorily bound to hold a special meeting of the assembly to discuss and arrive at the agenda as discussed above and leave no scope for issuing the orders in a hush hush and secretive manner to satisfy the aspirations of some influential ministers only and as such selectively create administrative units which would open pandora's box because the order would be administrative rather than political.

(The author is retired administrative officer IMPA)
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News Updated at : Thursday, January 16, 2014
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