No quorum: ZP meet put off

Chaos, confusion overtake general body meeting

In the midst of arguments between Zilla Panchayat president Manjula and members from the JD(S), the general meeting on Friday was called off for lack of quorum.

Kolar Zilla Panchayat members, S B Munivenkatappa and G Somashekhar of the JD(S) argue with president Manjula before the general meeting on Friday. Chief Executive Officer  P Rajendra Cholan is also present. dh photo

Some of the members felt the lack could be overlooked and the meeting conducted as discussions on drinking water problem in the district as well as other development-related issues were unavoidable. Their opinion, however, gave rise to a chaotic situation in the auditorium.

The meeting was to have 45 members, including 28 ZP members, five MLCs, six MLAs, one Parliamentarian and five taluk panchayat presidents. The quorum consisted of 22 members. The meeting was to begin at 11 am on Friday, but by then, only 15 members were present and the meeting could not be started.

Almost an hour later, at about 11.45 am, there were efforts to go ahead with the meeting, but the chief executive officer, P Rajendra Cholan, insisted that they still lacked enough members to continue. He added that the meeting could be postponed if there was no quorum within the first 30 minutes of the meeting.

Ramaswamy Reddy, M S Anand and Narayana Reddy, however, opposed, questioning the 'sudden importance' to a quorum. Reminding that the legislators and Parliamentarians never attended any general meeting so far, the members demanded that the names of those who absent themselves from three consecutive meetings be deleted from the list.

D V Harish, vice-president, also expressed dissatisfaction that the meeting called to discuss development issues was being wasted.

Arguments

The air seemed to cool down a little, when S B Munivenkatappa and G Somashekhar of the JD(S), who entered the auditorium just then, approached the CEO and insisted the meeting could not be continued due to lack of a quorum.

Cholan, however, held on to his initial statement. He instructed a member to read out the rules given in the Panchayat Raj guidelines, but some other members snatched the handbook and threw it away.

An argument between president Manjula and Munivenkatappa ensued, and Harish joined in.

In the midst of the verbal tussle, Manjula declared the meeting was postponed by an hour as it lacked a quorum and said the timing was fixed for 1 pm. Members and officers who had gathered left the auditorium.

No other meeting, however, was conducted on Friday.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Cholan said the rules did not permit a second meeting on the same day if the first meeting lacked a quorum. “The president will have to decide on a new date. She is yet to speak to me on the matter,” he added.

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