Panchayat Swaraj Campaign launched in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 3: Ahead of the Panchayat elections, a campaign ‘Panchayat Swaraj Abhiyan’ was launched by five volunteer members in a special meeting at the Red Cross Bhawan, here, today. The programme has been initiated by Smt Rutupurna Mohanty, social activist and head of Maa Ghara Shanti Sena, Sri Shankar Parida, president of Gram Swaraj Aviyan, Odisha, Sri Sudarshan Das, youth icon, Dr Bikash Das, social activist and Smt Sunita Mund, Writer.

The programme was conducted with an aim to make the panchayat alcohol free, corruption free and free from party politics. Many political leaders had been influencing villagers for their votes by paying them money, liquors or false promises which has made Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘Gram Swaraj’ dream to be fulfilled in a wrong way. It has been 70 years of Independence for India but still ministers are using their powers and money just to acquire votes, said Mohanty. Till now, to acquire a house under the Indira Awas Yojona, a villager needs to pay some money to the Sarpanch and minister, many people also stand in queue like beggars to get their own earned pension under the Madhu Babu Pension Yojana, to get rice under the Annapurna Scheme etc. the influence of political power has affected the villages and panchayats to such an extent that it has led to women harassments, unemployment etc, she further added. Thus in order to encourage the people to fight against all odds and harassments and set up a Panchayat that would function without the influence of any political leader, corruption and violence, this campaign is conducted, she added. Lastly, she also urged support from all youth, women, farmers, tribal people and backward people to join the campaign and make it a success thus aiming to fulfil the dream of Mahatma Gandhi and to justify his saying that ‘Power to Panchayat means Power to people’.

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