The sordid imbroglio over the Panchayat elections that has been witnessed over the last few months has finally ended with the decks cleared for186 Goa Panchayats to go to the polls on August 10th. Panchayats have been the backbone of the Indian villages since the beginning of time. 

This faceless and shameless government tried every trick possible to postpone these vital elections.Over the last few weeks so much of the High Court’s time was consumed hearing numerous petitions on this issue.

The final batch of petitions was over the reservation of OBC seats not done in line with the Supreme Court directives and norms. The High Court has strongly reprimanded the State Election Commission on this issue but was helpless in being unable to undo this illegality.

This government which has become so thick skinned besides insensitive has become immune to judicial strictures which they don’t seem to care about. Disrespecting Court orders seems so glaringly obvious and by now is a BJP trait.

In a democracy, free and fair elections are fundamental, as otherwise it would be an exercise in futility. Politicians in Power must not manipulate and dictate terms to officials whose mandate is to ensure free and fair polls. It is vitally important that the people must not be denied their fundamental right to a free and fair election and on time.

The ball is now in the People’s Court who should ensure that good, knowledgeable, and dedicated persons with integrity are elected to the Panchayats so that good governance at grass root level is ensured. The leaders at Panchayat level today, who perform well, may be the leaders in the Assembly and at the National level tomorrow.  

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