Soreng , 20 Jan : The people from different panchayat wards and GPUs of Soreng Chyakhung constituency of West Sikkim on Saturday morning staged indefinite Dharna at the premises of Soreng Sub – divisional office protesting against alleged high handedness and monopoly of panchayat members and SDF party functionaries while preparing the lists of beneficiaries for the upcoming Janta Mela scheduled to be held in the constituency on January 22.
Public have alleged that no special Gram Sabhas in the constituency were held before finalising the list of beneficiaries for government facilities and because of monopoly of panchayat members and SDF party functionaries while shortlisting the names of people for government benefits many needy and eligible people have not been able to made to the lists of probable beneficiaries.
They demanded that a fresh gram sabhas must be held across the constituency before Janta Mela and a fair lists of beneficiaries should be prepared prior to hosting Janta Mela.
The participants in Dharna expressed that they were compelled to knock the door of the administration as they could no longer stand the injustice and unfair way of conduct on the part of some panchayat members and SDF functionaries. “How the lists of beneficiaries could be finalised without holiding gram sabhas? Is not it against the norms of Panchayati Raj System?” , one aggrieved person asked.
They alleged that panchayat members of many wards have included the names of people in the list of beneficiaries as they pleased.
The independent panchayat member of Malbasey ward Bishal Basnet shared that a letter of memorandum was submitted by agrieved people to ADC (development), Gais Pegha on January 13 requesting him to look into the matter but no action was taken by the sub – divisional administration. Informing further Bishal Basnet said that when the delegation of aggrieved people quizzed ADC about delay being made to redress the issue, he informed that the letter is forwarded to the BDO but kept mum over the redressal of issue.
BDO Ratan Pegha who was absent on Saturday did not turn out in his office even when people repeatedly demanded his presence.
Claiming that name lists of beneficiaries have been prepared in biased way, favouring the ruling party supporters, the protesters also demanded ADC Gais Pegha to disclose the name lists of beneficiaries but Pegha refused to do so citing that he lacks authority. However Gais Pegha informed that the administration is working to sort out the issue.
After a meeting with ADC Gais Pegha in his office, the participants in Dharna had given one hour ultimatum to the administration for sorting out the issue in amicable way but the sub divisional administration could not come to terms with demands placed by protesters and the agitated protesters declared Dharna to be indefinite. “Dharna will continue for indefinite period of time (day and night) unless our demands are fulfilled. We would not leave the sub – divisional office premises till the justice is not delivered to us”, said an agitator.
Another participant in Dharna said that government’s welfare schemes and facilities should reach to every sikkimese irrespective of which political party he/she follows. “Public related facilities are not coming on expense of any political party. Hence there should not be any inequity and partiality while distributing the benefits. We would fight tooth and nail against the system of favouritism and parciality”, she said. However the participants termed Dharna as apolitical.
The protesting people holding placards and tricolour in their hands shouted slogans at the office premises demanding fresh Gram Sabhas in the constituency and calling for keeping alive the ethic s of Panchayati Raj System in true sense.
The participants in Dharna on Saturday were mostly from Malbasey, Chaykhung, Chumbung, Budang and other wards of the constituency. More than 150 protesters had been the part of Dharna today.
By evening when matter remained in fray without any conclusive outcome the delegation called back their protest Dharna assuring on Monday 21 January in larger scale the delegation will pour down at Sub Divisional office.
It is come to know that on Monday administration has moved reserved battalion and police force to tackle the matter.
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