ISLAMABAD The provincial governments this time have made the floods and deteriorating law and order situation as an excuse to delay the local bodies elections, denying the people at large of their right to taste the power at the grassroots level. The dichotomy of rulers can be judged well from the fact that on one hand they are devolving powers from top level to provinces though NFC Award and legislation like 18th Amendment and other such measures but on the other hand they are denying masses of their due right in governance at local bodies level by deferring the elections of these bodies at grassroots level on one pretext or the other. Background interviews with the leadership of major political parties including Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) it has transpired that in Sindh and Punjab the ruling parties are yet not clear which system of governance they would opt at grassroots level. It is due to this indecision on part of the rulers that the people at helms of affairs in both Punjab and Sindh are yet to finalise which way to go or to evolve a new system of governance by picking good things from the local bodies Act 1979 and the Local Government Ordinance 2001 introduced by Gen Pervez Musharraf. Earlier, the Punjab Government had said that they would revert back to the old municipality system at grassroots level but later they had a second thought and constituted a committee to evolve a new system by amalgamation of good things of both the old and new system of governance remained in vogue in the country in the past. But so far the Punjab Government has failed to come up with something concrete on it and the matter is still in limbo with Punjab Government coming up with another excuse to delay the local bodies elections owing to flood devastations in the province for another year. Political observers were of the view that political governments used to avoid holding the local bodies elections as they wanted to function at grassroots level through their parliamentarians just to consolidate their position for the next elections and the delay in the local bodies elections by the sitting political governments is mainly because of the same reason. In almost all the four provinces the development projects are being carried out by the elected MPs of the ruling parties and in certain cases funds are being given to the politicians of the ruling party who lost the elections just to provide them base to strengthen their positions for next general elections. This is the third time that the Punjab Government has deferred the local bodies elections, right after its dissolution in December 2009. They first committed to hold the LB polls in 65 days after its dissolution but after the lapse of almost a year announced to hold the same in next 365 days. But again taking refuge behind the natural calamity Punjab Government has once again deferred the elections for a year and now their leadership is terming 2011 year of elections for local bodies. Similarly, Sindh has delayed the polls for fifth time and lastly President Asif Ali Zardari after meeting with provincial ministers belonging to PPP in Karachi on Nov 1, 2010 asked them to be ready for LB polls in six months. PPP coalition partner in Sindh though has been pressing the Government time and again to go for the LB polls, still political observers are sceptical of holding of the elections on the fresh date given for the same as Sindh Government was yet to decide which system they would opt. In Sindh the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement are yet to decide which system of governance they would opt at grassroots level with MQM demanding of its senior coalition partner to keep the district government system intact in the province or at least keep it intact in the urban centres of the provinces including Karachi and Hyderabad where the system had given remarkable results. But on the other hand the PPP Sindh chapter was in favour of reverting back to the old system of governance and was exerting pressure on the partys high command not to succumb to the mounting pressure of MQM in this regard. Similarly on the same reasons Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa governments were also delaying LB polls, as they were all busy disbursing the development funds through their MPs just to consolidate their political position for the future elections.