Cong responsible for delay in electing ZP Chief, says MLA

'Govt revised and reserved the ZP post for ST women'

JD(S) MLA H S Prakash on Saturday accused the Congress leaders of defaming the JD(S) and alleged that the Congress’s anti-democratic policy was responsible for the delay in the process of electing the Zilla Parishat president.

In a joint press meet with former MLC Patel Shivaram, here, the MLA said, “As per the Rural Development Principal Secretary, the ZP president post was reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) but, the government revised and reserved it for ST (Women). So, the SC community lost the opportunity. If the government had reserved the post as per the norms, JD(S) ZP members would not have opposed.”

Recently, the election for the ZP president post was postponed twice due to lack of quorum as 23 JD(S) members did not participate in the election process. In the 40-member Hassan ZP, 23 members belong to JD(S), 16 are Congress and one from BJP.

Prakash alleged that Shwetha Devaraj of the Congress, who became ZP member with the help of a fake caste certificate, was a Vokkaliga and does not belong to ST. “As per the documents available, her father is a Vokkaliga and was serving in the Education department. The members have the right to miss three meetings and they are absent to mark their opposition against injustice,” the MLA said.

“MLA H D Revanna has never said that his wife Bhavani Revanna, who is also a ZP member, is the aspirant for the ZP president. The Congress is hiding the truth and is defaming H D Deve Gowda’s family for political mileage. The JD(S) leaders never approached the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, asking him to reserve the ZP president post to ‘General’ category,” Prakash said.

Addressing reporters, Shivaram said, “The authorities should conduct a speedy inquiry about Shwetha’s caste. The district is reeling under drought and there is a need for emergency development works. The state government should solve the issue soon.”

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