|July 4, 2014 at 11:17 am #5501|
The elections to the five-member Arvalem village panchayat in Bicholim taluka may be a small electoral step for the state government, but for the residents of the state’s newest panchayat it will be drastic political development. The number 13 will certainly be auspicious for the residents, as they will get a chance to participate in panchayat elections on July 13, after a gap of 13 years.
“I vaguely remember having voted for a local candidate way back in 2001. It was really difficult for us as we did not have any local representative and had to run from pillar to post, even to avail of a meager scheme. Now the dark clouds have cleared,” says Dnyneshwar Malik, who runs a small business in the village.
The histories of Sakhali municipality and Arvalem village panchayat are intertwined. Having been classified as a panchayat since Liberation, Sakhali (which then included Arvalem) was reclassified as a municipality in 1999. However, public opposition forced the government to reverse its decision in December 2000. Sakhali panchayat elections were declared in April, 2001 and the panchayat completed its five-year term. Elections to the new Sakhali panchayat were declared in April, 2006, but barely two days before the polls, the government reclassified Sankhali status as a municipality and appointed an administrator to the council. Elections to the 10-member Sakhali municipal council were held in 2008.
Source/Reference: Times of India, “13 years later, Arvalem village panchayat polls on July 13“