Jammu: To mount pressure on the State Government for the security and empowerment of panchayats, women panches and sarpanches on Friday announced to join the hunger strike of All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) on March 24.

Women panchayat members, including sarpanches and panches, from Jammu region will gather outside the Press Club in Jammu on Sunday to join the hunger strike of AJKPC, Sarpanch Bimla Devi and Deputy Sarpanch Sunita Sharma told reporters.

They blamed the State Government of deceiving 33,000 panchayat members, which left them with no other option that to sit on hunger strike.

Expressing concern over the safety and security of the panchayat leaders after the recent militant attacks, they appealed the state government to intervene and take the required steps in this regard.

The state government will have to face the consequences if the attacks on panchayat members did not stop, the panchayats leaders said. Slamming the state unit of Congress, the women panchayats leaders said the party has deceived them and deviated from its stand and promise made in its manifesto.

The honorarium announced by the state government was "meager", but if was a victory for AJKPC leaders who fought for the issue and forced the government to take the step, they said. Demanding full implementation of 73rd amendment of Indian constitution in the state, Sunita Sharma said that now they have decided to teach the parties a lesson in the 2014 assembly elections.


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