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Maharashtra scraps direct village sarpanch election system

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Press Trust of India Mumbai
The Maharashtra government on Wednesday overturned the erstwhile Devendra Fadnavis dispensation's decision of electing sarpanches (village heads) directly from among the people.
According to an official statement, the state cabinet, at its meeting here, approved the proposal of the rural development department regarding electing sarpanches from among the elected members of gram panchayats as was the practice earlier.
The statement said an ordinance will be issued to incorporate amendments in the law to this effect.
The Fadnavis government in 2017 brought an ordinance to ensure the sarpanches were elected directly from among the people.
Rural Development Minister Hasan Mushrif on January 22 said that "differences" between ideologies of directly-elected sarpanches and gram panchayat members had "repercussions" on developmental works and hence, proposed the ordinance.
The cabinet's move comes notwithstanding the Maharashtra State Sarpanch Parishad's opposition to the proposal.
Parishad chairman Dutta Kakade two days ago claimed that as many as 9,000 gram panchayats have passed a resolution opposing the state government's decision.

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First Published: Jan 29 2020 | 8:30 PM IST

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