Local self-government is a symbol of both democracy and development Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Friday stated that it provides a framework for decentralisation of democracy.
The Lok Sabha Speaker’s comments came at the inauguration of outreach and familiarisation programme for local bodies of North-Eastern States in Shillong.
“Local Self Government is a symbol of both democracy and development. It provides a framework for the decentralisation of democracy. It strengthens the democracy at the grass-root level through which citizens get an opportunity to become a stakeholder in the local self-government of their area,” the speaker said.
“There are several provisions in our Constitution providing optimal opportunities for the development of all the areas in the country. North East India is quite distinct from the geographical and socio-cultural point of view, therefore keeping it in view; a special provision for three Autonomous District Council for these States has been made in the Sixth Schedule of our Constitution,” Birla said.
The prime objective of setting up these Councils is to protect the rights of the tribal communities of the North East, provide them equal rights in the decision-making process and to ensure that their administration is carried out in accordance with their traditions and conventions, he said.
“Mahatma Gandhi believed that the soul of India lives in villages. He believed in rural self-government and the development of the nation (Rashtrodaya) through the development of the villages (Gramodaya). He believed that every village should be self-reliant. The Government is formulating policies and schemes to make this very self-reliance a nationwide phenomenon. But, a self-reliant India can only be possible when we are Vocal for Local,” he said.
Highlighting the digital penetration in governance, he said that e-Panchyat has been introduced which has brought revolutionary changes in the working of local self-government.
It is our responsibility to make a collective effort to make democracy strong, transparent and accountable, he added.
Chief Minister of Meghalaya Conrad Sangma, Speaker of Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Metbah Lyngdoh, Union Minister of State, Ministry of Food Processing & Industries, Rameshwar Teli and a range of MPs from across the North Eastern region also took part in the event.
The programme was organised by Parliamentary Research and Training Institute for Democracies (PRIDE), of the Lok Sabha Secretariat.
The theme of the programme was ‘Panchayati Raj System/Autonomous District Council-Strengthening Decentralised democracy’. (ANI)