Rule Changes Will Allow Sarpanches To Be Elected Directly


MOHALI – Overhauling the democratic process at the grassroots level, the Punjab Government has decided that sarpanches would be directly elected by villagers instead of the earlier practice of being nominated by elected members of the panchayat.

Speaking on the issue here today, Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Surjit Singh Rakhra said besides direct elections of the village head, elected panches would no longer have the power to remove a sarpanch from the post through a no-confidence motion.

“Only the Rural Development and Panchayat Department director will have the power to remove any sarpanch in case there are serious charges against him,” said Rakhra after presiding over a high-level meeting of deputy commissioners and district development panchayat officers here.

The development would make the posts of sarpanch more authoritative and stable in gram panchayats. Earlier, elected panches used to elect a sarpanch by voting system and remove him by bringing in a no-confidence motion. “In a way, the powers of panches have been curtailed,” an official said.