Khap Panchayats are a “useful instrument” of society and carry out social reforms and one or two mistakes don’t make them wrong as a whole, according to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
Khap panchayats have a strength of their own, he stressed, adding there is no proposal to ban them.
“They are not formed by the government. These Khap Panchayats are there for the last 800 years. These Panchayats have been made by the people of those areas only. They have carried out various social reforms such as fighting against dowry system, they worked for Beti Bachao Beti Padhao and gender ratio,” Khattar told PTI here.
“I rather feel it is an useful instrument of society. It is not as if they indulge in something, which is wrong. Khap is a big Panchayat,” he said.
Time and again Khap Panchayats operating in various parts of North India have made headlines for their alleged encouragement to “honour killings and bizarre diktats”, which drew flak from various quarters.
On various controversies that have cropped up over Khap Panchayats’ diktats, Khattar said, “One or two mistakes or incidents don’t make Khap Panchayats wrong as a whole. Even human beings and institutions commit mistakes. Khap Panchayats have a strength of their own.”
Commenting on the issue of cow slaughter and consumption of beef, the Haryana Chief Minister said, “In our state we have banned cow slaughter and we had the support of Muslims MLAs also. The bill was passed unanimously in the state Assembly.”
The Haryana Assembly last year had passed the Gau Sanrakshan Avm Gau Samwardhan Bill-2015 Bill, which provides for a complete ban on cow slaughter in the state.
When asked whether cow slaughter should be banned in states like Bengal, Khattar said, “I don’t want to comment on it. In our place no one takes cow slaughter positively.”
“Corruption was high during the previous Congress rule in the state. We have improved law and order situation in the state. On the issue of corruption, we have zero tolerance. We have strengthened delivery system and ensured transparency,” he said.
Turning to the law passed by the Haryana government laying down some qualifications for contesting Panchayat elections as a part of its initiative to check corruption at grass roots level, he said, “The response has been tremendous. A new leadership has come up and corruption was eliminated.”
Asked whether he wants the Centre to pass similar laws for contesting elections in state Assemblies and Parliament, Khattar said, “I would support it if such an initiative is taken but, it is in the hands of the Centre to decide.”
Khattar, who was here in connection with holding a roadshow in the run up to “Happening Haryana-Global Investors Summit 2016” at Gurgaon in March, said the aim of inviting the industrialists of Kolkata was to give them the opportunity to expand their base in Haryana.
“Our aim is to attract maximum investment in Haryana from across the country and abroad so as to ensure industrial development and provide maximum employment opportunities to the youth,” he said.
“We sought investments in agro-based industries, infrastructure, technology, IT and ITes, skill development and received good response here. We have no labour problems, have the proximity to Delhi and have land for setting up industries,” he added.