Power matters, not people's welfare!

Miffed at chief not stepping down ZP members stay away from budget meeting

Internal bickering over power sharing in ruling Janata Dal (Secular) forced postponement of the budgetary meeting of Zilla Panchayat here on Thursday.

high drama: Empty seats (reserved for members) greets officers who arrived at budgetary meeting at ZP in Mysore on Thursday. (right) ZP president  J Suneetha Veerappagowda and vice-president Shivaram with other members at the former’s ante chamber. DH PhotosThe meeting scheduled for 11 am had to be finally called off after an hour, as majority of the members preferred to stay away.

When media persons made a reality check, it was found that the incumbent ZP president J Suneetha Veerappagowda was closeted with the members in her coterie in the ante chamber. It also included incumbent ZP vice-president Shivaram who belongs to BJP.

When asked for the delay, Suneetha Veerappagowda owed it to some of the members busy attending the Karnataka Development Progress (KDP) review meeting at T Narsipura.

According to Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Act, of the total 73 members including MLCs and MLAs, a minimum of 39 is required for quorum to hold the meeting. The budgetary meeting at ZP should precede that of state to help the latter take note of the proposals from local bodies.

As there was no sign of required numbers, the president preferred to wait, but to no avail.

In an informal chat with media, opposition leader Manjula Raj said they (Congress members) have no qualms over attending the meeting, if the fellow members of other parties arrive.

Discord

However, according to sources, what actually led to the situation was the differences that has cropped up over sharing of presidentship. As was the internal agreement, of the total 20 months tenure, Suneetha Veerappagowda of JD(S) had to pave way for another after enjoying the seat for 10 months. Accordingly she had to step down in December last itself. When she showed no signs of stepping down, the JD(S) members convened a meeting to exert pressure on her. Finally she announced to resign on January 30.

This fuelled a high drama again with Suneetha Veerappagowda handing over her resignation letter dated February 3 to the party MLA Sa Ra Mahesh. But, it was all a part of the game again.

Deciding to put an end to the mess, the ruling party leader Chikkanne Gowda had met the president at her residence recently. Suneetha Veerappagowda at that time had promised to tender her resignation on February 24 a day after presenting the budget.

With the latest development, it remains to be seen whether Suneetha will stepdown or spring a surprise again.

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