Chowdeshwari, Rathnamma elected to Kolar Zilla Panchayat

Independent candidate elected as ZP president

Chowdeshwari, an Independent member representing Vakkaleri constituency was re-elected as the Zilla Panchayat president for a second term, during an election held on Friday.

A total of five members had contested the post, including D V Harish (Congress) of Huttur constituency, A M Lakshminarayana (Betamanagala), G S Amaranath, an Independent  member G S Amaranath, R Narayanaswamy (JD-S) from Gownipalli and Chowdeshwari.

Amaratnath, Harish and Narayanaswamy withdrew, however, their nomination when the election process began at 2 pm. Chowdeshwari and Lakshminarayana remained in the fray. Members were allowed to cast votes by raising their hands.
 
Chowdeshwari emerged victorious by securing the support of 15 members while Laksminarayana managed 13 votes.

Similarly, five nominations were filed for the post of vice-president as well. Yallamma (Bharatiya Janata Party) of Kudiyanur constituency, Muthyalamma (Kyasamballi), Rathnamma (Janata Dal-S) of Dasanaur and Alamelamma of Byrakur were listed as contestants. Rathnamma had filed two nominations. Muthylamma and Alamelamma withdrew their nominations.

The Janata Dal (Secular) (JD-S) has 12 members in the Zilla Panchayat and managed to secure the support of Independent members M S Anand (Chikkaankandahalli), Chowdeshwari (Vakkaleri) and Simoul, a Bharatiya Janata Party member from Kamasamudra. Consequently, the contestants for both posts were able to secure 15 votes, the required number for getting elected.

K Shivaram, Regional Commissioner, Bangalore, acted as the returning officer.

High tensions

A verbal duel ensued between members before the election began. D V Harish of Congress and others members opposed the attempt of JD-S to seat the member at one place. While all the members of the JD-S raised their hands in support of Chowdeshwari, G K Nagaraj of the same party (Rayalpad constituency) hesitated to express his support.

The remaining members of his party urged him to lend his support and this coaxing was criticised by other members. Returning officer Shivaram warned that members should not be coaxed to support a particular person. He also took exception to members speaking on cellphones and directed the police to seize the handsets.
Deputy Commissioner Dr D S Vishwanath, Additional Commissioner V Venkatesh, Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer S M Zulfikarulla were present.

‘I wanted power’

Independent candidate, Chowdeshwari, who joined JD(S) to win the Zilla Panchayat president’s post, defended her move stating that “It’s an excellent opportunity to serve people.”

Speaking to reporters after being elected as the president, she said she would not like to speak about her association with the Varthur camp. “Today, everybody believes in selfish politics to get power. Why single out when a woman representative does it,” she shot back, while replying to a question. She said “ I joined the party as its primary member on Thursday night. The party has given me this opportunity to work for the people and I can serve people only with the power.”

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