Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare on Monday said even chief minister should be elected by the people directly.
Mumbai: Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare Monday targeted the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government over its move to scrap direct elections to the post of sarpanch.
Mr Hazare said that the government did not believe in transparency and therefore, wanted sarpanches to be elected by councilors.
He added that not only sarpanches but also the chief minister should be directly elected by the people. The former Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government had scrapped the procedure of electing sarpanches from among the elected gram panchayat committee members, and had started a new process whereby sarpanches would be elected by the people through election.
Recently, however, the MVA government reinstated the old process but did not get the governor’s nod on the decision which is why its implementation was pending. Mr Hazare is backing the direct election of sarpanches.
He expressed his apprehension saying, “If the direct process is scrapped, there will be a direct threat to democracy and there are chances of increasing dictatorship in the state. It is not decentralization in the true sense. Powers should be in the hands of the people otherwise the importance of political parties will increase and it will affect democracy.”
Mr Hazare did not stop there and said, “I would suggest not only the sarpanch of the village but the chief minister of the state should also get selected through the election process. Then we can say democracy means for the people and by the people.”
Commenting on the horse-trading during the selection of the CM, he said, “If we adopt the new process of election of sarpanches and the CM, no one will have to take oath early morning and elected members will not have to be kept in private hotels.”
Attacking the MVA government, Mr Hazare said, “This government doesn’t want decentralization and transparency. Therefore, people who want democracy should take to the streets and agitate.”
He reminded that even during the BJP regime, he had agitated twice to bring the Lokayukta.
“We will not tolerate if people’s interest is impacted due to dissent between the BJP and other opposition parties.”