2 contenders for ZP prez post give JD(S) the jitters

Party manages consensus; 20 months for Nayeema, 40 for Parimala

The JD(S) had to face tense moments as two of its members - Nayeema Sulthana and B C Parimala Shyam - threw their hat into the ring for the president’s post, by filing their nomination papers.

The party finally managed to build a consensus for Nayeema with just a few minutes left for the election scheduled at 1 pm, at a meeting that lasted for hours at the mini hall in the first floor of the ZP office.

Parimala agreed to withdraw with a rider that Nayeema will hold the reins for the first 20 months, while she will succeed her for the remaining 40 months.

Following the recent amendment to the Panchayat Raj Act, president and vice-president of ZPs will remain in office for five years. Nayeema agreed to the formula and led fellow party members to the ZP hall for the election.

Chamundeshwari MLA G T Devegowda told reporters that following directions of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, it was decided to give a chance to Nayeema, belonging to the minority community and later to Parimala.

He denied that factions within the party prolonged a decision on a consensus candidate, as H D Kote MLA S Chikkamadu is at loggerheads with him.

However, it was not easy for Parimala to forego the trappings of power, as she had emerged a strong contender. Her eyes were wet with emotion, when she handed over the form withdrawing her candidature to Regional Commissioner A M Kunjappa.

She tried to remain stoic, but could not, when media persons sought her reaction about missing the chance by a whisker. “Yes, I am a bit unhappy, but had to abide by the instructions of the party higher-ups,” said Parimala. There were no heartburns in the BJP camp, as Nataraj was the consensus candidate. However, it is not known if Nataraj’s term will also end after 20 months. When asked, Nataraj replied in the negative.

Asked about rumours that she had knocked on the doors of the opposition Congress camp, Nayeema dismissed them as lies.

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