Villagers of Ilha de Rachol were infuriated with their elected panchas as they played truant at the Gram Sabha meeting scheduled for Sunday even though the meeting was being held after a gap of over one year.
While the Ilha de Rachol Sarpanch Joseph Vaz is on leave, his deputy Milagres Fernandes who was supposed to preside over the Gram Sabha, sent a note to the Panchayat Secretary expressing inability to attend the Gram Sabha due to ill health.
The lone panchayat member Guilherme Oliveira who was present for the Gram Sabha refused to chair the meeting stating that he would not be able to answer the questions asked by the villagers.
This action of the elected panchas was severely criticized by the villagers who termed their act as totally undemocratic and against the spirit of the Panchayati Raj Act.
Rachol Rakhon Manch Convenor Robert Rebello pointed out that the Gram Sabha was being held after 413 days as the last meeting was held in January 2010.
“We would like to know under what authority has the panchayat been utilizing funds when the budget has not been presented nor approved by the Gram Sabha,” he said pointing out that this amounts to gross irregularity against which the Directorate of Panchayat should take stern action.