Savithramma likely to return to power as ZP deputy chief

Panchayat mess: Poll for VP on June 28, ouster expected for chief on July 8

Election for the post of Zilla Panchayat vice president is scheduled for June 28, after a long wait of five months.

The general body meeting of the ZP will be conducted on June 27 and the election will be held the next day.

Five months ago, B Savithramma, a CPM member, stepped down as vice-president of the ZP, following a no-trust motion.

Savithramma was elected under the reservation quota and in the history of the State, she had become the first CPM member to be elected to the post. But she had to face opposition from panchayat members, which resulted in 17 out of 25 ZP members voting against her on February 25.

Following the no-trust motion, the B S Shekharappa, Chief Executive Officer of the Zilla Panchayat, had announced that a detailed report on the motion will be submitted to the Election Commission.

Shekharappa had also said that the EC will soon declare a date for election for the post of vice-president president. But the election for five months had been postponed with the members giving lame excuses like lack of a quorum.

The post of the vice-president of Chikkaballapur ZP is reserved for a woman belonging to the Backward Castes (A). Savithramma is the only candidate elected to the Zilla Panchayat under this category and does not have a competitor. The Department of Urban Development and Panchayat Raj has, therefore, warned ZP members that an attempt to postpone the election would not be a positive development.

Meanwhile, the Regional Commissioner had asked the Urban Development and Panchayat Raj Department (UD and PRD) to give details on postponing the election for the post of the vice-president.

Clarifying on the matter, H B Raghunath, undersecretary of the UD and PRD said: “If none raises voice against quorum during election, the meeting can proceed and the candidate can be elected. But postponing the election instead of initiating action against lack of quorum is not right.”

‘Quorum not a must for one candidate’

H B Raghunath, undersecretary of the Urban Development and Panchayat Raj Department has said that the post of the vice president in taluk and zilla panchayats is reserved for a specific community. “If only one person is eligible for this post, quorum is not a requirement during election.

Election of the Taluk and Zilla Panchayat president and vice president (rules-1994) has been modified to suit the need of the time,” he said. “If panchayat members try to hinder the election of any candidate under reservation, by abstaining from the meeting, will be considered as misbehaviour under Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act,” he warned.

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