He lamented that Punjab was not getting its legitimate share of the RDF (Rural Development Fund) despite meeting all the criteria.
As a result of the suspension of two senior IAS officers who were in charge of the operations of the Department of Rural Development and Panchayats, heads are starting to roll in the government’s blunder about the dissolution of panchayats.
Dhirendra Kumar Tiwari, IAS (1994) Principal Secretary, Water Supply & Sanitation and Financial Commissioner, Rural Development & Panchayats and Gurpreet Singh Khaira, IAS (2009) Director, Rural Development & Panchayats and ex-officio Special Secretary, Department of Rural Development & Panchayats and Mission Director, Mahatma Gandhi Sarbat Vikas Yojna (MGSVY) are suspended with immediate effect, according to orders.
The order additionally stated that Chandigarh would serve as these officers’ temporary headquarters while they were on suspension. According to the guidelines, they will be eligible for a subsistence allowance.
Tiwari, an IAS officer from the 1994 batch, and Khaira, an IAS officer from the 2009 batch, both played key roles in the state’s decision to dissolve its panchayats.
After panchayats knocked on the doors of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the government’s choice backfired and brought it great embarrassment. The only alternative left to the government when it found itself in a difficult situation was to do a U-turn.
The government announced its decision to retract the notification on Thursday, only about a fortnight after its move to dissolve gram panchayats in Punjab came under court scrutiny.
According to an affidavit signed by Director of Rural Development and Panchayat Gurpreet Singh Khaira, Section 209 of the Punjab Panchayati Raj Act, 1994 gave the state government the authority to mandate the holding of elections for Panchayati Raj Institutions.
According to the announcement, which was issued in compliance with the law, elections for gram panchayats and zila parishads were to be held by December 31 and those for panchayat samitis by November 25. According to the declaration, the State Election Commission needed time to make all the necessary preparations for elections, including updating electoral rolls, setting up polling places, working with law enforcement, and making other crucial arrangements.