Himachal village unanimously elects all-woman panchayat
The national leaders are still battling it out on the issue of women reservation in parliament, but a remote village in Himachal Pradesh has unanimously decided to elect an all-woman panchayat. Returning officer BC Thakur said on Thursday that only women candidates filed their nomination papers for the panchayat of Kamru in Kalpa block of Kinnaur district. The panchayat has 1,100 voters – mostly tribals. There is one candidate each for seven posts. The posts are of ‘pradhan’ or president and ‘up-pardhan’ or vice-president and five ward members.
“All the voters unanimously decided to field only seven candidates for the equal number of posts. On the last date of filing the nomination papers (Dec 14), only seven candidates were in the fray. The results would be only declared after Dec 18 – the last date for the withdrawal of the names,” he added.
If nobody withdraws the nominations, Sunila Negi would be declared elected as ‘pardhan’, Rattan Manjari ‘up-pardhan’ and five women as ward members – Krishna Devi, Vinod Kumari, Sanjyoti, Shabnam Kumari and Sunder Devi.
“It was the unanimous decision of all the voters to have an all-woman panchayat. The voters think that women are more sensitive to the local issues,” Negi said.
The three-phase elections for 3,195 panchayat in the state will be held Dec 28, Dec 30 and Jan 1, 2011.
The state government has already reserved 50 percent seats for women in all panchayati raj institutions – the village-level third tier of governance – except for the post of ‘up-pradhan’ which is open.