It isn’t often that you see senior bureaucrats speaking with candour and disarming honesty in the presence of the Prime Minister or top politicians. So it was refreshing to see a senior secretary to the government draw Dr Manmohan Singh’s attention on Sunday to the fact that the ongoing 11th Five-Year Plan was not particularly “friendly” to panchayats.
The occasion was the celebration of Panchayat Diwas, and the official none other than panchayati raj secretary A.N.P. Sinha, who was delivering the vote of thanks. He then requested the PM to give panchayati raj greater focus in the 12th Five-Year Plan.
Besides the PM, Congress president Sonia Gandhi was also present. Mr Sinha requested her to have this taken up by the National Advisory Council, which she heads as chairperson. Asian Age