Panchayat Raj Institutions – L.M. Singhvi Committee (1986)

L.M. Singhvi Committee (1986)

L.M. Singhvi Committee was constituted in 1986 to study the problems faced by panchayat raj institutions by Rajiv Gandhi government. The Gram Sabha was considered as the base of a decentralised democracy, and PRIs viewed as institutions of self-governance which would actually facilitate the participation of the people in the process of planning and development.

It recommended:

  • Local self-government should be constitutionally recognised, protected and preserved by the inclusion of new chapter in the Constitution
  • Non-involvement of political parties in Panchayat elections.

The suggestion of giving Panchayats constitutional status was opposed by the Sarkaria Commission, but the idea, however, gained momentum in the late 1980s especially because of the endorsement by the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who introduced the 64th Constitutional Amendment Bill in 1989. The 64th Amendment Bill was prepared and introduced in the lower house of Parliament. But it got defeated in the Rajya Sabha as non-convincing. He lost the general elections too. In 1989, the National Front introduced the 74th Constitutional Amendment Bill, which could not become an Act because of the dissolution of the Ninth Lok Sabha. All these various suggestions and recommendations and means of strengthening PRIs were considered while formulating the new Constitutional Amendment Act.

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