Patna,(BiharTimes): The issue whether mukhiyapatis and sarpanchpatis (husbands of village heads and panchayat heads) should attend the meetings, along with their wives or not, hots up once again with the chief minister Nitish Kumar warning the husbands that they would face stern action if they continued to accompany their spouses. Now women can understand and discharge their duties efficiently, he added.
Addressing the first women’s co-operative conference in Patna on Friday the chief minister said the NDA government increased the quota for women from 33 to 50 per cent in urban and rural local bodies and that his efforts have started paying dividends, as it has made the women more confident about their rights.
However, only a few days back the RJD chief Lalu Prasad had extended support to the husbands of mukhiyas and sarpanchs attending official meetings with their wives. He had said that it would not be fair at all to stop women from going with their husbands anywhere as women still hesitate to attend meetings and speak.
The RJD’s logic is explained by its party MP, Ram Kripal Yadav, who asked as to what is wrong if husbands attend the meeting. After all many women are still simple and the panchayat employees would hoodwink them. This is an established fact. Not to speak of RJD leaders, even many general people are of the view that husbands should accompany their wives.
They fear that once the husbands would be barred corruption at the grassroots level would increase even more and no development would take place. The local bureaucracy would manipulate things in their favour, they said.
The panchayati raj minister Bhim Singh had last year asked women panchayat members to leave their spouses behind while attending official meetings.