Thousands of elected Sarpanchs from different villages of Rajasthan marched onto the Rajasthan Assembly on September 1, 2010, in protest against the curtailment of their powers.
The Rajasthan government unleashed tear gas and lathi charge on the protesting Sarpanchs, severely injuring one on them.
The 10,000 sarpanchs of Rajasthan represent a rural electorate of nealry 2.5 crores. Many of them are fighters who have emerged from the people. In the last elections to the Panchayats, a large number of popular candidates were elected as independents. The same phenonmenon was repeated in the recent elections to the town muncipalities.
The Rajasthan Government is trying to curb the powers of the elected local bodies in town and countryside. According to Comrade Om Sahu, a Sarpanch from the Hanumangarh district, a sarpanch today can only sanction works upto Rs 1,000. This is nothing but a cruel joke.
The Sarpanchs will once again march to the Rajasthan Assmebly on September 13, 2010.
Mazdoor Ekta Lehar fully supports the just struggle of the Sarpanchs of Rajasthan.